After being in circulation for over three decades, USA Today has never issued an official endorsement in a presidential election. This year, the newspaper’s editorial board wrote that a Donald Trump presidency was too dangerous for them to once again sit on the sidelines.
“Because every presidential race is different, we revisit our no-endorsement policy every four years,” the paper wrote. “We’ve never seen reason to alter our approach. Until now.”
The newspaper’s official non-endorsement urged voters to reject the Republican nominee and, by a unanimous decision, called Trump “unfit for the presidency.”
The editorial board wrote:
In the 34-year history of USA TODAY, the Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. Instead, we’ve expressed opinions about the major issues and haven’t presumed to tell our readers, who have a variety of priorities and values, which choice is best for them. Because every presidential race is different, we revisit our no-endorsement policy every four years. We’ve never seen reason to alter our approach. Until now.
This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.
From the day he declared his candidacy 15 months ago through this week’s first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.
Whether through indifference or ignorance, Trump has betrayed fundamental commitments made by all presidents since the end of World War II. These commitments include unwavering support for NATO allies, steadfast opposition to Russian aggression, and the absolute certainty that the United States will make good on its debts. He has expressed troubling admiration for authoritarian leaders and scant regard for constitutional protections.
The newspaper went on to list traits that make Trump unqualified to be president, calling him “erratic,” “ill-equipped to be commander-in-chief,” and “serial liar,” all while slamming his bigotry and poor business record.
USA Today noted that it wasn’t officially endorsing Hillary Clinton, but they did say her shortcomings are “less likely to threaten national security or lead to a constitutional crisis.”
“Some of us look at her command of the issues, resilience and long record of public service — as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State — and believe she’d serve the nation ably as its president,” the editorial board wrote.
The USA Today isn’t the only paper to speak out against Trump in this campaign cycle.
Two days ago, the Arizona Republic endorsed Clinton – the first time the paper has ever supported a Democratic candidate. Earlier this month, the Dallas Morning News also threw its support behind Clinton – the first endorsement of a Democrat by the paper in 75 years. The Cincinnati Enquirer, breaking from almost a hundred years of Republican endorsements, also endorsed the Democratic nominee, calling Trump “a clear and present danger to our country.”
As the election nears, newspapers all across the country are making their voice heard – and urging voters to reject the most dangerously unfit nominee in history.