As February follows January and the sun sets in the west, readers of The Dallas Morning News could rely on that newspaper to endorse the Republican candidate for president.
But not this time — not when the candidate is Donald Trump.
The Morning News editorial pulled no punches from the get-go:
“What does it mean to be a Republican?
“For generations, the answer had been clear: A belief in individual liberty. Free markets. Strong national defense.
“But what does it mean to be a Republican today? With Donald Trump as the party’s new standard-bearer, it’s impossible to say.”
The editorial criticizes Trump for “an authoritarian streak that should horrify limited-government advocates” and “his open admiration of Vladimir Putin.” It calls Trump a hypocrite for investing in hotels abroad even as he criticizes car manufacturers who take factories overseas. As for national defense, the editorial calls Trump an isolationist who “put sound bites over sound policy.”
Its conclusion is blistering:
“Donald Trump is not qualified to serve as president and does not deserve your vote.”
Of course, the Morning News isn’t the first major news daily to editorialize against Trump. The Los Angeles Times came out against him in March and the Washington Post had harsh words for him in July.
But the Morning News has endorsed every Republican presidential candidate since 1968, when Richard Nixon faced off against Democrat Hubert Humphrey.
As Politico points out:
“In 1964, it was neutral between Texan and incumbent Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson and Republican Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater.
“On Tuesday, the paper did not endorse any candidate.”