President Donald Trump picked up a rare prize over the weekend in the battleground state of Pennsylvania that will likely leave a lasting scar on former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which hasn’t endorsed a Republican candidate since 1972, threw its weight behind the 45th president over the weekend. The historic decision quickly generated headlines, given the expected razor-thin margins in which the state could be won on November 3.
High praise for Trump’s record
In an editorial piece by the Pennsylvania newspaper titled, “The man and the record,” the paper outlined a number of Trump’s most impactful accomplishments, including nods for the way he’s handled America’s job-providing energy sector, improving trade deals, and his success in bolstering the American economy.
“Under Donald Trump the economy, pre-COVID, boomed, like no time since the 1950s. Look at your 401(k) over the past three years,” the paper wrote. “Unemployment for Black Americans is lower than it has ever been, under any president of either party.”
Notably, the paper’s editorial board gave Trump a high-five on the way he’s handled America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, agreeing with the president that the way forward is not through more closures and lockdowns. Trump “was and is right that we must not cower before the disease and we have to keep America open and working,” the paper wrote.
“This newspaper has not supported a Republican for president since 1972. But we believe Mr. Trump, for all his faults, is the better choice this year.”
Why Trump over Biden?
The Post-Gazette essentially slammed Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, claiming that their policy proposals would be a disaster for both Pennsylvania and America, especially given their wishy-washy stance on the fracking industry, which employs thousands in the state.
The board also ripped Biden for appearing “too old” and “fragile,” while claiming that a Biden-Harris win on November 3 would only offer Americans “other Cuckoo California dreams that will cost the economy and the people who most need work right now.”
Critical of Trump’s manner
However, the paper’s editorial board held nothing back in their criticisms of the president’s mannerisms, arguing that Trump should focus on a more statesmanlike approach while working in the Oval Office.
“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,” the board wrote. They also knocked Trump for not showing interesting in “learning government” or listening to “people that could have helped” his presidency.
The other side
In contrast, many would argue that Trump’s refusal to conduct business as a polished politician is the reason why he was elected in the first place.
Trump’s supporters weren’t hoping for a Winston Churchill or a Barack Obama in 2016, nor are they searching for one in 2020. They wanted someone who could get things done and Trump answered the call, in spades.