The Orlando Sentinel Endorses Anyone but Trump

An elderly supporter of US President Donald Trump adjusts her cap as she waits along one of the main streets outside the Amway Center on June 17, 2019 some 40 hours before a Trump campaign event in Orlando, Florida. - President Trump is expected to launch his 2020 re-election campaign …
GREGG NEWTON/AFP/Getty Images

The Orlando Sentinel announced Tuesday – the same day as President Trump’s re-election rally – that it is effectively endorsing anyone but Trump.

“We’re here to announce our endorsement for president in 2020, or, at least, who we’re not endorsing: Donald Trump,” the Orlando Sentinel‘s editorial board announced Tuesday, adding that there is “no point pretending” that it could recommend readers to vote for Trump.

The editorial board cites a number of previously debunked fake news talking points, including the Washington Post’s database which accuses Trump of telling over “10,000” lies since taking office. Notably, the editorial team remained silent on the countless smears and misleading reports perpetrated by the mainstream media on a near-daily basis.

The board said Trump has waged a war on “decency” by insulting opponents with “middle-school taunts” and concluded that he “demonstrates no capacity for empathy or remorse.”

“Trump has diminished our standing in the world. He reneges on deals, attacks allies and embraces enemies,” the board wrote.

The piece also mentioned the previous travel ban controversy, perpetuating the fake news talking point that Trump arbitrarily banned Muslims from entering the United States. The Sentinel wrote:

Domestically, the president’s signature issue — immigration — has moved in fits and starts. Happily, he abandoned pursuing an outright — and unconstitutional — ban on Muslims entering the U.S., opting instead to restrict travel for people from a handful of nations, most of them majority Muslim.

That premise, of course, is patently false. The travel ban restricted travel from a handful of countries known to sponsor terrorism, all of which were previously flagged by the Obama administration. It was never a broad restriction on Muslims and had no effect on the vast majority of Muslim nations.

The Supreme Court upheld the ban last summer.

 The editorial board did, however, concede on the economy, writing, “Yes, the market has done well since Trump’s election.” However, that was quickly followed by a range of justifications and excuses for Trump’s economic success. The Sentinel reported:

The S&P 500 was up about 21% between Trump’s inauguration and May 31 of his third year in office. Under President Obama, it was up about 56% in that same period.

Unemployment is headed down, as it was during seven straight years under Obama.

Wages are up, and that’s a welcome change. But GDP increases so far are no better than some periods under Obama. Deficit spending under Obama was far too high, in part because of the stimulus needed to dig out of the Great Recession. Under Trump, it’s still headed in the wrong direction, once again pushing $1 trillion even though the economy is healthy.

Despite the “anyone but Trump” feel of the entire non-endorsement, the board said it is not “defaulting to whomever the Democrats choose,” and continued, saying:

This non-endorsement isn’t defaulting to whomever the Democrats choose. This newspaper has a history of presidential appointments favoring Republicans starting in the mid-20th century. Except for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, the Sentinel backed Republican presidential nominees from 1952 through 2004, when we recommended John Kerry over another four years of George W. Bush.

The board said it would consider examining moderate Republicans like Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) or former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) if either of them launched a presidential bid and “successfully primaried” Trump.

“The nation must endure another 1½ years of Trump,” the board added. “But it needn’t suffer another four beyond that.”

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