‘USA Today’ breaks non-endorsement tradition by saying Donald Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency’

The newspaper is one of America’s largest-selling titles

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The Independent US

Since it was founded in 1982, USA Today has stayed out of the business of endorsing political candidates.

But this year, the newspaper which has one of the largest circulation’s across the country, has decided it can no longer stay silent on the subject of Donald Trump’s candidacy. In short, it believes that the New York tycoon is “unfit for the presidency”.

“This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences,” the paper’s editorial board wrote, saying that in 34 years it had never felt the need to alter its no-endorsement policy.

“This year, one of the candidates – Republican nominee Donald Trump –  is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency,” the paper declared.

The newspaper, which is owned by the Gannett Company, listed eight reasons for its condemnation of Mr Trump, including both reasons of temperament and character and some of policy.

Among those reasons were that Mr Trump is “erratic,” “traffics in prejudice” and is a “serial liar.” 

The paper said that his business record is not as sterling as Mr Trump himself suggests, and that the racial tensions he’s stirred – they wrote that he has “coarsened the national dialogue” – will be lasting.

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“Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents,” it added.

Yet the newspaper, made clear its editorial should not be taken as “unqualified support” for Mr Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, urging voters to either back her, choose a third-party candidate, write in another name or focus their votes solely on down-ballot candidates.

“Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue,” they write. “By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.”

USA Today is just the latest in a string of newspapers around the country bucking tradition to make their misgivings about Mr Trump known. Earlier this week, the Arizona Republic – which had never endorsed a Democrat for president in its 126-year history – threw its support behind Ms Clinton.