Major Ohio paper endorses Clinton after years of backing GOP

Story highlights

  • "There is only one choice" in November, the Cincinnati Enquirer's editorial board wrote
  • "Clinton is a known commodity with a proven track record," it added

Washington (CNN)The Cincinnati Enquirer, one of Ohio's largest newspapers, is backing Hillary Clinton after supporting Republican presidential candidates for nearly a century.

"The Enquirer has supported Republicans for president for almost a century -- a tradition this editorial board doesn't take lightly. But this is not a traditional race, and these are not traditional times," the editorial board of the Enquirer published Friday. "Our country needs calm, thoughtful leadership to deal with the challenges we face at home and abroad. We need a leader who will bring out the best in all Americans, not the worst."
    "That's why there is only one choice when we elect a president in November: Hillary Clinton," the editorial reads.
    The Gannett publication announced its endorsement in advance of the first presidential debate between the two nominees. Ohio is a battleground state that both candidates have increasingly worked harder to win.
    The paper said Clinton was a "competent" secretary of state who made "mistakes" in Benghazi that were "tragic" but called Republicans' assessment of her actions a "diabolical conspiracy."
    "Clinton, meanwhile, was a competent secretary of state, with far stronger diplomatic skills than she gets credit for. Yes, mistakes were made in Benghazi, and it was tragic that four Americans lost their lives in the 2012 terror attacks on the US consulate there," it wrote. "But the incident was never the diabolical conspiracy that Republicans wanted us to believe, and Clinton was absolved of blame after lengthy investigations."
    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is more interested in his self that the country, the paper concludes.
    "Trump brands himself as an outsider untainted by special interests, but we see a man utterly corrupted by self-interest. His narcissistic bid for the presidency is more about making himself great than America," the board said. "Trump tears our country and many of its people down with his words so that he can build himself up. What else are we left to believe about a man who tells the American public that he alone can fix what ails us?"
    While the editorial board are sympathetic to voters interest in the change that Trump could bring, the Enquirer concludes that not all change is good.
    "Our country needs to seek thoughtful change, not just change for the sake of change. Four years is plenty of time to do enough damage that it could take America years to recover from, if at all," it wrote.