USA Today endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday, marking the paper’s first presidential endorsement in its 38-year history.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) October 20, 2020
The newspaper took a strong stance against President Donald Trump, noting that while it made no endorsement four years ago, it urged readers not to vote for the Republican in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
In 2016, the USA Today editorial board said Trump was “unfit for office because he lacked the ‘temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.'”
Four years later, the board has gone a step further and given the president’s opponent its full support.
“Maybe you backed Trump the last time around because you hoped he’d shake things up in Washington or bring back blue-collar jobs. Maybe you liked his populist, anti-elitist message, ” the endorsement said.
“Maybe you couldn’t stomach the idea of supporting a Democrat as polarizing as Clinton. Maybe you cast a ballot for a minor party candidate, or just stayed home.”
“Now, two weeks until Election Day, we suggest you consider a variation of the question Republican Ronald Reagan asked voters when he ran for president in 1980: Is America better off now than it was four years ago?” it asked, pointing to the coronavirus pandemic and its toll on the economy, intensifying natural disasters and a what it described as a “racial reckoning.”
USA Today also said that it reached out to voters in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio, three states that helped Trump clinch his victory over Clinton four years ago.
“Many declined to comment, citing a general disgust with the election or fear of speaking out publicly,” the endorsement said, but “while some said they were personally better off, most of those willing to talk on camera expressed anguish and dismay about the nation’s election.”
“Biden is well positioned to repair the wreckage Trump has made of the federal government, from the foreign service to the science agencies Trump has tried to politicize,” the endorsement said.
“In 2016, we broke tradition and urged you not to vote for Trump. Now we’re making our first presidential endorsement. We hope it’s our last,” the endorsement said.
Many on social media were unsurprised by USA Today’s stance, while others were disappointed to see the newspaper break with its historic stance on endorsements.
🙄 no one is surprised but you probably should of stayed with never endorsing a candidate. It’s not hard to hide your bias.
— MJ (@MJalreadytaken) October 20, 2020
— Ami Magazine (@Ami_Magazine) October 20, 2020
Shame on USA Today!! First rule of journalism broken…stay neutral!
— Julia May (@JuliaMa15320419) October 20, 2020
I dont understand how we can trust any news source that endorses a particular political candidate to report unbiased information about that candidate or their opponent. I used to think @usatoday was the most credible source, but you have destroyed your credibility with this
— Bill Ford (@allsought) October 20, 2020
That was enough to make me uninstall your app! You are not News if you are endorsing candidates! That means you have an agenda!
— R F L (@HoghunterBob) October 20, 2020
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