After nearly five solid decades of backing Democrats in presidential elections, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has switched things up and endorsed President Donald Trump ahead of Tuesday’s vote.
The paper, which hasn’t endorsed a Republican candidate since 1972, said they’re now backing Trump because of his commitment to an America-first energy plan, contrary to Democrat candidate Joe Biden’s pledge to move America away from fossil fuels and bring an end to the oil industry.
"Under Mr. Trump the United States achieved energy independence for the first time in the lifetimes of most of us. Where would Western Pennsylvania be without the Shell Petrochemical Complex (the 'cracker plant')?” the paper’s editorial board wrote, referencing a plant just outside Pittsburgh, where fracking is a major industry and source of jobs.
The paper’s editors added that Trump’s character may be lacking in some areas, his successes outweigh his shortcomings, writing, “Donald Trump is not Churchill, to be sure, but he gets things done.”
"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," the editorial board wrote. "We respect and understand those who feel otherwise. We wish that we could be more enthusiastic and we hope the president can become more dignified and statesmanlike."
The paper sits in a pivotal battleground state for both candidates, where polls show Trump and Biden still battling it out for Pennsylvania's crucial 20 electoral votes, and where Trump has concentrated much of his 11th-hour campaign efforts. While Trump has promised to push America further towards energy independence by bolstering the nation's oil and natural gas industries, Biden has repeatedly vowed to end fracking, saying at the most recent presidential debate that he plans to "transition" away from oil altogether.
The Post-Gazette’s endorsement follows a similar one from the Boston Herald, who backed Trump this year after endorsing “none of the above” in 2016. The paper said they’re picking Trump over Biden because of Trump’s America-first goals and “decisive action to get us back to pre-pandemic strength — not an unfeasible spending spree in the name of a progressive utopia."
(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)