The Cincinnati Enquirer endorsed Hillary Clinton on Friday afternoon, joining the Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle among the ranks of newspapers with conservative editorial boards that have spurned Donald Trump and backed his Democratic rival instead.
Trump is still without a daily newspaper endorsement in the general election, though many publications have not yet declared their support. Three other right-leaning papers — the Union Leader of Manchester, N.H., the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal and the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch — have backed Libertarian Gary Johnson.
For the Cincinnati Enquirer, endorsing Clinton meant breaking with longstanding tradition, as its editorial board noted:
The Enquirer has supported Republicans for president for almost a century — a tradition this editorial board doesn't take lightly. But this is not a traditional race, and these are not traditional times. Our country needs calm, thoughtful leadership to deal with the challenges we face at home and abroad. We need a leader who will bring out the best in all Americans, not the worst.
That's why there is only one choice when we elect a president in November: Hillary Clinton.
Much of the Enquirer's endorsement was devoted to criticizing Trump; editors wrote that they felt forced to decide which candidate is "the least flawed."
This was not the most enthusiastic endorsement Clinton will receive. But the paper did find reasons to compliment the former secretary of state:
Clinton is a known commodity with a proven track record of governing. As senator of New York, she earned respect in Congress by working across the aisle and crafting bills with conservative lawmakers. She helped 9/11 first responders get the care they needed after suffering health effects from their time at Ground Zero, and helped expand health care and family leave for military families. Clinton has spent more than 40 years fighting for women's and children's rights. As first lady, she unsuccessfully fought for universal health care but helped to create the Children's Health Insurance Program that provides health care to more than 8 million kids today. She has been a proponent of closing the gender wage gap and has stood up for LGBT rights domestically and internationally, including advocating for marriage equality.
For Trump, losing out on the Cincinnati Enquirer's endorsement deprives him the backing of the third-largest newspaper in a crucial swing state. And it continues a pattern of rejection by media outlets and politicians who should theoretically be behind the GOP standard-bearer.