CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza tried to hype a newspaper endorsement with this headline: “This influential newspaper just broke a 100-plus year streak of endorsing a Republican.” But it was false.
The New Hampshire Union Leader endorsed the Libertarian ticket in 2016. Cillizza actually included this fact in his article, that the newspaper touted Gary Johnson and Bill Weld as “a bright light of hope and reason.”
How can CNN bungle the facts so badly? Cillizza was just getting started.
He asserted “It’s hard to overstate the influence of the Union Leader in conservative circles.” That, too was false. Check out this passage (with verbiage fruitlessly inserted in between):
Not only did the Union Leader endorse then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in advance of the 2016 GOP primary in the state, but [then-publisher Joe] McQuaid savaged Trump in several front-page editorials….
Despite the Union-Leader’s opposition, Trump won the New Hampshire primary in a walk. (Christie finished sixth — and endorsed Trump shortly afterward.)
Cillizza then admitted the endorsement wouldn’t matter very much:
Given its anti-Trump stance, the Union Leader’s decision to endorse a Democrat for the first time in nearly a century isn’t likely to move a ton of votes — either away from Trump or to Biden.
But it does speak to just how far traditional voices in the conservative movement are willing to go in order to make clear their opposition to Trump. Even a few years ago, it would have been unimaginable for the Union Leader to endorse a Democrat for president. Trump, however, has made literally anything possible in the world of politics — upending traditional alliances and forcing a reexamination of what words like “Republican” and “conservative” even mean.
It is absolutely a “reexamination” of what “conservative” means when a “conservative” newspaper complains about the national debt: “Since Trump took over, the national debt has exploded by more than 7 TRILLION dollars.” So the answer to that problem is….Joe Biden? As if the Democrats in the House did NOT pass spending bills exploding the debt? As if Biden isn’t proposing a massive spending increase? At least they acknowledged a blue wave would be a disaster and urged split-ticket voting. But one might call the editorial page there “formerly conservative.”
PS: Brent Baker — who vacations in New Hampshire — pointed out the Union Leader still endorsed Republicans for the U.S. House and Senate — which may also demonstrate their endorsements don’t matter.
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