ST. JOSEPH, Missouri- The St. Joseph News-Press set itself apart as the only major Missouri newspaper backing billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump. Possibly only a handful of publications nationwide have done so and many who have traditionally supported only Republican candidates are declaring themselves in favor of Hillary Clinton.
An editorial published over the weekend explained Trump,” represents something different for a broad swath of America that is serious about wanting a less intrusive government, a more robust economic recovery and leadership that protects our interests around the world.”
The endorsement blasted Clinton for favoring Obamacare which has brought health coverage to 20 million more Americans according to the HHS, but also raised premiums, and her handling of Benghazi in which four Americans died. The newspaper doesn’t directly reference the recent controversy surrounding Trump recent accusations of sexual misconduct by Trump.
Yesterday, following reader backlash and comment, editor Dennis Ellsworth defended their decision and explained the process in detail in a follow-up piece:
“The decision was reached over an extended time. This was a period in which the newspaper published other editorials expressing concerns over the health insurance mandate, the need for immigration reform and the lagging economic recovery, among other topics. We may have signaled our leanings if not our endorsement,” the piece read.
“The board’s endorsement of Trump over Hillary Clinton stated both candidates are flawed, but the board believes Trump and the GOP, working together, present the best hope for needed change,” Ellingsworth concluded.
“A vote for Trump is a vote to change this dynamic and to cast our lot with a movement that is bigger than Trump alone,” their endorsement said.
A commentor to their Facebook page said the following: “This endorsement reaffirmed my reasons for no longer reading the News Press. The only reason I knew about the article at all was thanks to a friend of mine posting it on her page. This honestly doesn’t surprise me. I just find it extremely disappointing.”