Election 2016

USA Today Shreds Trump in a Blistering Editorial

Written by SK Ashby

USA Today has never weighed in on presidential elections, but this is not a normal election and Donald Trump is not a normal candidate.

Donald Trump's unparalleled awfulness has compelled the USA Today editorial board to share their thoughts on the GOP nominee for president and this is even more blistering than what the Arizona Republic had to say about him.

He is erratic. Trump has been on so many sides of so many issues that attempting to assess his policy positions is like shooting at a moving target. A list prepared by NBC details 124 shifts by Trump on 20 major issues since shortly before he entered the race. He simply spouts slogans and outcomes (he’d replace Obamacare with “something terrific”) without any credible explanations of how he’d achieve them.

He traffics in prejudice. From the very beginning, Trump has built his campaign on appeals to bigotry and xenophobia, whipping up resentment against Mexicans, Muslims and migrants. His proposals for mass deportations and religious tests are unworkable and contrary to America’s ideals. [...]

Trump has stirred racist sentiments in ways that can’t be erased by his belated and clumsy outreach to African Americans. His attacks on an Indiana-born federal judge of Mexican heritage fit “the textbook definition of a racist comment,” according to House Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest-ranking elected official in the Republican Party. And for five years, Trump fanned the absurd “birther” movement that falsely questioned the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president. [...]

He has coarsened the national dialogue. Did you ever imagine that a presidential candidate would discuss the size of his genitalia during a nationally televised Republican debate? Neither did we. Did you ever imagine a presidential candidate, one who avoided service in the military, would criticize Gold Star parents who lost a son in Iraq? Neither did we. Did you ever imagine you’d see a presidential candidate mock a disabled reporter? Neither did we. Trump’s inability or unwillingness to ignore criticism raises the specter of a president who, like Richard Nixon, would create enemies’ lists and be consumed with getting even with his critics.

Remarkably, USA Today's takedown of Trump was written and published before Newsweek revealed that Trump violated the Cuban embargo while Fidel Castro was in power in the 1990s. It was also written before the Washington Post reported that Trump's fake charity isn't even registered to raise money. It was also written before the Los Angeles Times reported that Trump told managers at one of his golf clubs to fire unattractive women.

USA Today's editorial was also written before Trump began tweeting at 5 a.m. about the non-existent sex tape featuring former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.

In addition to the incredibly damning stories that have emerged over just the past 24 hours, USA Today has also done a great deal of excellent reporting of their own. It was USA Today that first documented the thousands of lawsuits Donald Trump has been involved in by combing through court records across the country.

The USA Today editorial board did not issue an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, but what they had to say about Trump is more than enough.

It's not clear if newspaper endorsements or takedowns make a significant difference, but USA Today is the most widely circulated paper in country and its available at virtually every McDonald's and every hotel.