September 30, 2016

"BIGGER THAN PARTY":

Gary Johnson has 6 newspaper endorsements. Donald Trump has 0. (The Week, 9/30/16)

On Friday, Johnson landed the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune, which dubbed him "agile, practical and, unlike the major-party candidates, experienced at managing governments." The editorial called Hillary Clinton "undeniably capable," but expressed concern about her "intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Trump, on the other hand, the newspaper deemed "not fit to be president."

While the Tribune's decision to endorse a third-party candidate is alone notable, what makes it even more noteworthy is that it puts Johnson yet another newspaper endorsement ahead of Trump. Johnson has also secured the support of The Detroit News, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Winston-Salem Journal, and The Caledonian-Record.

Conservative Newspapers Explain Why They Refused To Endorse 'Frightening' Trump (Melanie Mason, 9/30/16, Los Angeles Times)

USA Today broke its 34-year tradition of not endorsing in a presidential race, publishing a scathing argument against voting for Donald Trump.

The editorial board unanimously found Trump "unfit for the presidency" and the editorial, published Thursday, goes on to list the reasons why, among them: his "erratic" behavior and his "checkered" business past.


Conservative Newspapers Explain Why They Refused To Endorse 'Frightening' Trump (Joe Strupp, 9/30/16, Media Matters)

Andrews said the five-member editorial board was unanimous in their choice, adding that a non-endorsement was not an option.

"We felt that fundamentally not endorsing in any race we are looking at is a pretty lame approach," she said. "Because somebody has to decide who the next president is and voters have to make a decision, it felt a like a dereliction of duty."

The Enquirer wasn't the first traditionally Republican paper to endorse Clinton. The Dallas Morning News ended 80 years of GOP presidential endorsements on September 7 when it backed Clinton.

"We had recommended John Kasich in the primary and were disappointed that his campaign didn't catch more fire," said Keven Ann Willey, Morning News editorial page editor since 2002 and a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board. "Over that time Donald Trump just became more and more difficult to tolerate. The thought of him as the leader of our country just became anathema. On issues ranging from immigration to foreign relations to tax policy, it was hard to find much to align with him on. He is really not a conservative, he is a Republican of convenience."

Willey said the nine-member editorial board was unanimous in their choice of Clinton, another unusual occurrence.

"It was a long and deliberative process," she said, adding that opposition to Trump was based on many things such as his "name-calling of people and groups of people and the tone, the ramifications of that are just frightening."

The most recent and perhaps most surprising case was the Arizona Republic, which gave Clinton the nod this week. That marked the first time it had endorsed a Democrat in its history, which dates back to 1890 went it launched as the Arizona Republican.

Editorial Page Editor Phil Boas said the nine-member editorial board began criticizing Trump nearly a year ago.

For him, the tide started to turn against Trump when Trump supporters "started kicking and punching" a protester at a rally in Birmingham, AL, in November 2015 and Trump yelled, "get him the hell out of here." Trump later doubled down on his rhetoric in an interview the same week, telling Fox News, "maybe he should have been roughed up."

"That's when I sat down and wrote an editorial that these are sort of the ominous base notes of authoritarianism," said Boas, an admitted lifelong conservative Republican. "It was a sign and alarm that this guy might be dangerous."

Since then, the paper has routinely criticized Trump, endorsing John Kasich in the Arizona primary and hitting the businessman in numerous editorials.

"Because this is probably the most unusual election in our lifetimes, the process was different than what I'm used to and for us," Boas explained. "It really evolved over a year on our pages, a conversation with our readers. I don't think any loyal reader of our editorial pages are that surprised that we endorse Clinton. For a year now we have been writing scalding editorials about Donald Trump."

Boas also cited Trump's mocking of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski's disability. "I was just appalled by it," he said. "He made fun of a disabled man, he mocked him. ... To behave that way is disrespectful of the office. This became bigger than party, bigger than team."

Posted by at September 30, 2016 5:37 PM

  

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