Nov 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette backs Trump in first GOP endorsement since 1972

Trump walks off stage at a rally

President Trump at a MAGA rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 31. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed President Trump in an editorial piece published late on Saturday, writing that he "has put America first, just as he said he would."

Why it matters: The Post-Gazette, which endorsed former President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, has not supported a Republican presidential nominee since 1972. The paper is also based in a swing state that is crucial to Trump's victory.

Context: The Gazette underwent a rightward shift in 2018 after Block Communications, the paper's owner, appointed a new editorial director who went on to write editorials in support of Trump, per the New York Times.

What they're saying: "We share the embarrassment of millions of Americans who are disturbed by the president’s unpresidential manners and character — his rudeness and put-downs and bragging and bending of the truth."

  • "None of this can be justified. The president’s behavior often has diminished his presidency, and the presidency. Most Americans want a president who makes them proud."
  • "We too prefer the first-class temperament and demeanor of a Winston Churchill, a Dwight Eisenhower, a Franklin Roosevelt, a Ronald Reagan, or a Barack Obama (whom this newspaper enthusiastically supported in 2008 and 2012). None of them are on the ballot this year."

But, the paper's editorial board argues that Trump boosted the pre-COVID economy, "kept his promise to appoint originalists to the Supreme Court," improved the country's trade deals, "recognized" middle-class and low-income Americans, and "achieved energy independence" in the U.S.

Reality check: Trump in July said he is no longer confident about negotiating a phase-two trade deal with China, throwing the first phase of the deal into limbo.

  • Low-income Americans are bearing the brunt of the pandemic's economic fallout — and they have yet to see a second stimulus package negotiated by the Trump administration and Democrats.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that the paper underwent a rightward shift in 2018 after the appointment of a pro-Trump editorial director.

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