LEWISTON — Mayor Bob Macdonald said he likes Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s business sense and straightforward manner, if not his feelings about Muslims.

“He’s not a politician, and one of those guys who sit there and say they are going to do something but never do,” Macdonald said Thursday. “Every time I’ve said I’ll do something, I try to do it. Some people say something, but the minute someone comes after them they scurry away and disappear. I think Trump will fight for it.”

Macdonald said he’d vote for Trump for president today, but that could change depending on whether he wins his party’s nomination. In the end, Macdonald said he would back whichever Republican candidate gets the nomination.

“Whoever that is, that’s the one I’m going to work for,” Macdonald said.

Macdonald, a Republican, defeated progressive candidate Ben Chin at a special runoff election Tuesday, claiming his third term as mayor. It’s been a whirlwind of interviews since then.

Macdonald was interviewed by Massachusetts talk radio host Howie Carr Wednesday for a blog post on Brietbart.com. According to that post, Macdonald endorsed Trump.

Thursday, Macdonald stopped short of an outright endorsement.

“I like (New Jersey Gov. Chris) Christie, too,” Macdonald said. “Basically, whoever the Republicans pick, I’ll support. Right now, that’s Trump.”

Trump on Monday called for banning all Muslim travel to the U.S., drawing criticism from around the world.

Macdonald said he did not agree with that.

“That may sell newspapers, but I’m not going to go there and start all kinds of crap,” Macdonald said. “People have tried to make me a villain, even though I get along with all the Somalis up here. So I don’t want to be part of any effort driving a wedge between me and these people.”

Macdonald has his own history with national media and local Muslims. He was sharply criticized in 2012 for urging new immigrants in a BBC documentary to “… leave your culture at the door” when they come to the U.S.

But Macdonald met with Somali elders to talk about those comments weeks later. He said he has a good relationship with Lewiston Muslims today.

“I think my record with Somalis today speaks for myself,” he said.

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