USA Today endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time ever, saying “this is not something we do lightly or do eagerly,”
In 2016, the popular paper, which was founded in 1982, advised its readers to not vote for Donald Trump. It, however, did not endorse Hillary Clinton.
On Tuesday, the editorial board wrote that four years ago, it termed “the Republican nominee unfit for office because he lacked the ‘temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents’.”
The paper did not endorse Hillary Clinton because she was deemed “polarizing.”
But, it said, “this year, the editorial board unanimously supports the election of Joe Biden, who offers a shaken nation a harbour of calm and competence”.
Bill Sternberg, head of the board, told Axios: “This is not something we do lightly or do eagerly.”
Saying it was aiming at the still undecided voters, USA Today said: “Beset by disease, economic suffering, a racial reckoning and natural disasters fueled by a changing climate, the nation is dangerously off course.
“We spoke to dozens of people in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, battleground states that helped propel Trump into the White House in 2016. Many declined to comment, citing a general disgust with the election or fear of speaking out publicly. While some said they were personally better off, most of those willing to talk on camera expressed anguish and dismay about the nation’s direction.”
“For nearly four decades,” it said, “the editorial board has stood for certain core values: truth, accountability, civility in public discourse, opposition to racism, common-ground solutions to the nation’s problems, and steadfast support for first amendment rights. These aren’t partisan issues, or at least they shouldn’t be.
“Donald Trump has trampled each of these principles, making more than 20,000 false or misleading statements, ducking responsibility for his actions, spewing streams of invective at his critics, trafficking in racial fear-mongering, governing more as the leader of the red states than of the United States, and relentlessly attacking the free press.
“Everything about Biden’s nearly half-century political career suggests he would do a far better job of respecting these values.”
Report by Waeed Khan
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