Detroit News Ditches GOP for First Time, Backs Johnson
'An endorsement based on conscience is never wasted'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2016 12:09 PM CDT
Gary Johnson is the pick of the "Detroit News."   (AP Photo/Scott Morgan, File)

(Newser) – Gary Johnson had another "Aleppo moment" Wednesday when he had a brain freeze trying to remember the name of a world leader he admired. But that didn't stop the Detroit News on Thursday from offering its endorsement of the Libertarian candidate, breaking its GOP endorsement tradition for the first time since it was founded in 1873 (it didn't offer any endorsement at all just three times during those 143 years). "Donald Trump is unprincipled, unstable, and quite possibly dangerous," the editorial board members write. "He [cannot] be president." They agree that Hillary Clinton has the better temperament to handle the nation's top spot, but they have major problems with her character and "disagree with her nearly across the board on the issues."

And so that leaves Johnson, the "longest of long shots" but one who "[reflects] our confidence that [he'd] be a competent and capable president and an honorable one." They cite their agreement with him on most issues—specifically a hands-off government approach and his "responsible" stance on trade—and they like his VP pick of Bill Weld, another "honest, principled [politician]." They concede they're a little worried about Johnson's foreign policy savvy, especially since he sticks to "conventional libertarian non-interventionism," but they think he'll grow into the role in this regard "once the weight of leadership is on his shoulders." They note they realize some will call them out for throwing away their vote, to which they say: "Our contention is that an endorsement based on conscience is never wasted." (Gary Johnson also made the case for Gary Johnson this week.)