The Sun Sentinel, a major South Florida newspaper, is refusing to make an endorsement in the Republican presidential primary because “the kind of person who should be running is not in the race.”
In an editorial published Friday, the paper’s editorial board argues that businessman Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are unqualified to be president of the United States. Though Ohio Gov. John Kasich would be the best of the remaining candidates, the editorial continued, he does not have a chance of securing the party’s nod.
“We showed our cards a year ago, before the extraordinarily large field of Republican candidates shaped up,” the editorial reads. “We favored the adult in the room, Jeb Bush, a smart, experienced and principled conservative. But the nation wasn’t ready for another Bush, and our former governor wasn’t ready for the anti-establishment edge in today’s Twitter-fueled campaign era.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an establishment favorite, raised over $150 million but failed to gain traction amid Trump’s rambunctious rise to political prominence. Bush ultimately dropped out of the race in February.
Sen. Marco Rubio speaking at a campaign rally in Sanford, Fla., on Monday. (Photo: Paul Sancya/AP)
The Sun Sentinel outlined the shortcomings of each contender left in the once overcrowded GOP field.
It said Trump may be entertaining but lacks the experience and temperament to be commander in chief.
“Trump would shake up Washington, no question,” the board wrote. “He might even unite Republicans and Democrats against a common enemy — himself. But given his smug, erratic, often petulant demeanor, do you really trust him with the keys to our nuclear arsenal?”
Rubio, it continued, has incredible political skills, knowledge of the issues beyond talking points and a great life story, but has almost no experience beyond running for office and doesn’t show up to work much.
“Because Rubio has failed to do his job as a senator, broken the promises he made to Floridians and backed away from his lone signature piece of legislation on immigration, we cannot endorse him for president,” the board wrote.
The Sun Sentinel said that Cruz is anti-Washington, makes decisions based on the Bible, does not compromise on social issues and was willing to shut down the government for 16 days, “America’s economy be damned.”
“Cruz scares us. He also should scare Republicans who want to win in November. Cruz has not earned your vote,” the board said.
As for Kasich, the paper notes he is a mainstream Republican who averages a 7.4-point lead over Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton in recent national polls and enjoys a 62 percent approval rating among Ohioans, the people he was elected to serve.
The Sun Sentinel says that he has not built a viable campaign in part because the GOP base is in rebellion mode.
“Perhaps in a more-rational election year, the Sun Sentinel would endorse John Kasich. But we can’t urge you to vote for someone who doesn’t have a chance of winning the nomination.”
The Sun Sentinel did not experience the same difficulty choosing a Democratic candidate, strongly endorsing Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The paper says she may be too cozy with Wall Street and too secretive but is also the most qualified candidate for the Oval Office in years.
The Florida primary will be held on March 15.
(Photo Illustration, Yahoo News, photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, AP