9 Days Before Iowa Caucasus, Des Moines Register Endorses Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton


The Des Moines Register, the largest newspaper in Iowa, announced Saturday night that it had endorsed Senator Marco Rubio in the Republican race and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic race. 

With the caucuses nine days away, as all the leading candidates of both parties crisscrossed the state, the paper’s once highly anticipated backing might be less meaningful than it once was, in an age of reduced print circulation and the hogging of the news cycle by a candidate whose Twitter posts reach nearly six million people and whose rallies are covered live on television.

That candidate, Donald J. Trump, was never in contention for The Register’s embrace. Its editorial board last summer called for him to drop out of the race after he belittled the Vietnam War record of Senator John McCain, the party’s 2008 nominee.

The paper’s endorsement of Mr. Rubio echoed that sentiment. “Republicans have the opportunity to define their party’s future in this election. They could choose anger, pessimism and fear. Or they could take a different path,’’ the editors wrote.

Calling Mr. Rubio his “party’s best hope’’ the paper praised his attempt to welcome Hispanic voters and called him “whip-smart” in meetings with editors.

Endorsing Mrs. Clinton, the paper wrote that “she is not a perfect person” but noted, “The presidency is not an entry-level position.” It praised her experience and qualifications to deal with the Islamic State and work with foreign leaders.

It praised Mrs. Clinton’s chief rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, for injecting the issue of income inequality into the races in both parties. But it hesitated over the near-impossibility Mr. Sanders would face in getting his revolutionary programs through Congress.

“I am very pleased. Obviously, it means a lot to me,” Mrs. Clinton told reporters as she shook hands with voters on the rope line after a rally in Davenport.


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Source: The New York Times | Trip Gabriel and Amy Chozick