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Top swing-state newspaper hasn't endorsed Republican in almost 50 years — but is backing Trump now


'This newspaper has not supported a Republican for president since 1972'

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

One of Pennsylvania's top newspapers has endorsed President Donald Trump over Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, a major win for Trump in a state that is critical to winning the White House.

The endorsement was even more significant because the newspaper has not endorsed a Republican for president in nearly a half-century.

What are the details?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board, one of Pennsylvania's largest newspapers, revealed late Saturday that Trump is their man.

"This newspaper has not supported a Republican for president since 1972. But we believe President Trump, for all his faults, is the better choice this year," the newspaper announced on Twitter.

In explaining their decision, the Post-Gazette's editorial board makes it clear they disagree with Trump's temperament and crass personality.

"We share the embarrassment of millions of Americans who are disturbed by the president's unpresidential manners and character — his rudeness and put-downs and bragging and bending of the truth," the newspaper's editors wrote.

But they asked, "Can we separate the man from the record?"

Listing the reasons Americans should vote for Trump, the editorial board said:

  • The Economy: "Under Donald Trump the economy, pre-COVID, boomed, like no time since the 1950s. Look at your 401(k) over the past three years."
  • Employment: "Unemployment for Black Americans is lower than it has ever been, under any president of either party."
  • Trade: "Under Mr. Trump, our trade relationships have vastly improved and our trade deals have been rewritten. Thanks to him, middle America is on the map again and the Appalachian and hourly worker has some hope."
  • The Supreme Court: "He also kept his promise to appoint originalists to the Supreme Court of the United States. His third appointment, Amy Coney Barrett, is the best of all — a jurist whose mind and character and scholarship ARE first class."
  • Energy Independence: "Under Mr. Trump the United States achieved energy independence for the first time in the lifetimes of most of us. Where would Western Pennsylvania be without the Shell Petrochemical Complex (the "cracker plant")?"

The Post-Gazette editorial board also celebrated Trump's "America first" attitude.

"No one ever asked the American people, or the people in 'flyover,' country, if they wanted to send their jobs abroad — until Mr. Trump. He has moved the debate, in both parties, from free trade, totally unfettered, to managed, or fair, trade. He has put America first, just as he said he would," the board wrote.

Regarding the coronavirus pandemic, the editorial board said, "Has Mr. Trump handled the pandemic perfectly? No. But no one masters a pandemic. And the president was and is right that we must not cower before the disease and we have to keep America open and working."

Why not Biden?

According to the newspaper's editors, Biden is simply not up to the challenge of being America's commander in chief.

"Mr. Biden is too old for the job, and fragile. There is a very real chance he will not make it through the term," the board wrote.

"Mr. Trump is also too old but seemingly robust. But in Mike Pence, Mr. Trump has a vice president ready to take over, if need be. He is a safe pair of hands," the editors continued. "Sen. Kamala Harris gives no evidence of being ready to be president."

The paper went on to say, "This newspaper has not supported a Republican for president since 1972. But we believe Mr. Trump, for all his faults, is the better choice this year."

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