For the fifth time in its 147-year history, the conservative Detroit News has declined to endorse a Republican for president — and for the fourth time declined to endorse anyone at all.
With less than a week until Election Day, the paper published its non-endorsement of both Republican president Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden late Wednesday night.
The Detroit News declined to make endorsements twice during the Franklin Roosevelt elections in the 1930s and declined to endorse George W. Bush's re-election in 2004. In 2016, the paper couldn't get behind Trump, instead choosing to endorse Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico. It was the first and only time the paper endorsed a non-Republican candidate.
This year, Trump once again failed to win the paper over, with its editorial board citing the president's high spending, harmful tariffs, palling around with dictators, wanting to repeal Obamacare without a replacement, his ineffective Mexican border wall, his lack of leadership amid the coronavirus pandemic, and his character as reasons it could not endorse him.
As for Biden, the paper said, "We find the platform Biden is standing on unacceptable nearly in its entirety."
But Chad Livengood, a Detroit News alum now at Crain's Detroit Business, pointed out on Twitter that he could count 13 reasons to vote against Trump in the editorial, and only 11 to vote against Biden.
By my count, the @DetNewsOpinion editorial passing on endorsing in the presidential race gave readers 13 reasons to vote against @realDonaldTrump and 11 reasons to vote against @JoeBiden.https://t.co/GtWftVkCH2 pic.twitter.com/4O9Ou5oW0x— Chad Livengood (@ChadLivengood) October 29, 2020
Sure, the paper could have endorsed this year's Libertarian candidate, Dr. Jo Jorgensen, but just a few weeks ago the paper's deputy editorial page editor admitted Jorgensen was "off her radar" this year.
MLive, Michigan's largest news publication, also declined to endorse for president this year. The paper made its non-endorsement in a letter from the editor that kind of read as a surrender of the power of the press in the age of Trump.
As for Metro Times, while Biden wasn't our first choice, we think it's pretty clear where we stand on this one. Hell, even our horoscopes endorsed Biden.
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