USA TODAY shatters four decades of tradition as it endorses Joe Biden for president
Joe Biden by Gage Skidmore/Flickr

On Tuesday, the USA TODAY editorial board published an endorsement of Joe Biden for president — the first time they have ever affirmatively endorsed a presidential candidate in the 38-year history of the paper.

"Recent polls show that more than 90% of voters have decided between Biden and Trump, and nothing at this point will change their minds," wrote the board. "This editorial is for those of you who are still uncertain about which candidate to vote for, or whether to vote at all. It’s also for those who settled on Trump but might be having last-minute doubts. Maybe you backed Trump the last time around because you hoped he’d shake things up in Washington or bring back blue-collar jobs. Maybe you liked his populist, anti-elitist message. Maybe you couldn’t stomach the idea of supporting a Democrat as polarizing as Clinton. Maybe you cast a ballot for a minor party candidate, or just stayed home."

These voters, wrote USA TODAY's board, must ask themselves the Ronald Reagan question: "Is America better off now than it was four years ago? Beset by disease, economic suffering, a racial reckoning and natural disasters fueled by a changing climate, the nation is dangerously off course." The board provided several video interviews of voters in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, all of whom answered emphatically no, their lives are worse off under Trump.

"When Trump was elected as the nation’s first president without previous experience in government or the military, we hoped that he would become, as he promised during the 2016 campaign, 'more disciplined' and 'so presidential that you people will be so bored.' After all, when you are a passenger on an airplane, you root for the pilot, even one who has never been in a cockpit before," wrote the board. "But when confronted with an emergency — COVID-19, the biggest public health threat in more than a century — Trump didn’t land the plane safely on the Hudson River. His shambolic response to the coronavirus pandemic has inflated a national death toll that is equivalent to the crashes of more than 1,000 Boeing-737 jetliners."

Trump, continued the board, is not trustworthy as a leader, having made over 20,000 false statements over the course of his term. By contrast, Biden "is an experienced hand with working-class roots who understands the American dream. He knows the levers of power and how to wield them. He has a history of working across the aisle on such issues as health care, racial justice and the environment. He has the knowledge and the personality to begin repairing America’s tattered reputation around the world."

"This extraordinary moment in the history of our nation requires an extraordinary response," concluded the board. "With his plans, his personnel picks, his experience and his humanity, Joe Biden can help lead the United States out of this morass and into the future. Your vote can help make that happen."

You can read more here.