The Detroit News is the latest newspaper to deviate from conservative tradition.
The paper has supported Republicans since its inception 143 years ago (though the editorial board has not published any endorsement of a presidential candidate three times in its history). But its editorial board wrote on Thursday that it had abandoned “that long and estimable tradition” of endorsing GOP presidential candidates this year for one reason: “Donald J. Trump.”
Instead, the Detroit News has endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for president.
The editorial went on to include a scathing take-down of the GOP nominee.
Trump “is unprincipled, unstable and quite possibly dangerous,” the board wrote. “He can not be president.” The board added:
“His sort of populism has led to some of history’s great tragedies. The recklessness of his rhetoric can too easily translate into action. He is a braggart who boasts he can tame the world by tossing around bombs, and poses as a Putin-style strongman. In fact, Trump gushes more glowingly about the Russian dictator than he does many of his fellow Republicans.”
The editorial acknowledged Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s extensive experience and temperament for the job, but it disagrees with her stances on too many issues and said it was troubled by “her career-long struggles with honesty.”
As the board made its case for Johnson, it did not reference the candidate’s unfamiliarity with the war-torn city of Aleppo in northern Syria. Instead, the editorial said it was apprehensive about Johnson’s foreign policy chops because he “holds to conventional libertarian non-interventionism.” Johnson’s Wednesday night flub on MSNBC likely did little to instill more confidence in this area, as the Libertarian candidate struggled to name a foreign leader he admired.
The Detroit News joins conservative newspapers across the country who have chosen not to endorse Trump for president. On Tuesday, the conservative Arizona Republic endorsed a Democrat for the first time in the paper’s 126-year history. New Hampshire’s Union Leader endorsed Johnson this month.
Head over to Detroit News’ website to read the full endorsement.