Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

New Hampshire paper backs Biden in first Democratic endorsement in over 100 years

Biden and Trump.

Photo: Jim Watson, Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The New Hampshire Union Leader, the conservative-leaning Manchester-based newspaper, endorsed Joe Biden for president on Sunday.

Why it matters: It's the first time the paper has endorsed a Democrat for president in over 100 years, after it broke from more than a century of backing Republicans to endorse libertarian Gary Johnson over President Trump in 2016.

  • Biden has aggressively targeted New Hampshire, which Hillary Clinton won narrowly in 2016.
  • The endorsement came hours before Trump was set to visit the state on Sunday.

What they're saying: "Building this country up sits squarely within the skill set of Joseph Biden. We have found Mr. Biden to be a caring, compassionate and professional public servant," the editorial reads.

  • "He has repeatedly expressed his desire to be a president for all of America, and we take him at his word. Joe Biden may not be the president we want, but in 2020 he is the president we desperately need. He will be a president to bring people together and right the ship of state."
  • The authors note that their "policy disagreements with Joe Biden are significant," and that they expect to "spend a significant portion of the next four years disagreeing with the Biden administration."

"We were hopeful with Trump’s win that he might change, that the weight and responsibility of the Oval Office might mold a more respectful and presidential man."

  • "We have watched with the rest of the world as the mantle of the presidency has done very little to change Trump while the country and world have changed significantly."

Yes, but: The paper conceded that Trump has achieved "many admirable accomplishments" during his first term, citing his judicial appointments, tax policy, support for gun rights and work toward peace in the Middle East.

  • But it accused Trump of failing to take responsibility for the extent of the coronavirus pandemic, ballooning the national debt and weaponizing "the social-media-driven political landscape we now live in ... ripping apart all comers to the delight of his fanbase but at the expense of the nation."

The bottom line: "President Trump is not always 100 percent wrong, but he is 100 percent wrong for America," the editorial reads.

Go deeper