NEW YORK - ‘With confidence and enthusiasm,’ The New York Times - the best-known newspaper in America - on Saturday endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, boosting her candidacy two days ahead of the Iowa caucuses on Monday.
The Times also endorsed John Kasich, the governor of the state of Ohio, for the Republican presidential nomination. The Times previously endorsed Clinton for the nation’s top office during her failed  2008 primary race against Barack Barack Obama. It also endorsed her twice in her successful races to represent New York in the US Senate.
The 1,100-word editorial presents Clinton as ‘one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.’ It offers some praise to Mrs. Clinton’s main challenger, Senator Bernie Sanders, who is a leftist, for being ‘more formidable than most people, including Mrs. Clinton, anticipated. ‘ It also dismisses Martin O’Malley, the other Democrat in the race, as ‘a personable and reasonable liberal who seems more suited for the jobs he has already had - governor of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore - than for president.’
‘Hillary Clinton is the right choice for the Democrats to present a vision for America that is radically different from the one that leading Republican candidates offer - a vision in which middle-class Americans have a real shot at prosperity, women’s rights are enhanced, undocumented immigrants are given a chance at legitimacy, international alliances are nurtured and the country is kept safe,’ the Times said. The editorial board, however, expressed reservations about a no-fly zone in Syria, which Clinton has supported.
The Clinton campaign’s relationship with the Times has been troubled at times over the past year following the revelations that she maintained a private email server while leading the State Department. In July, the campaign accused the paper of ‘egregious’ errors and the ‘apparent abandonment of standard journalistic practices’ after initially claiming that federal inspectors general had requested a criminal investigation into Clinton’s email use during her tenure at the State Department.
Clinton herself was not the target, and the case was not criminal. A letter from the campaign asserted that the Times rushed the flawed story onto its website and front page despite ‘questionable sourcing,’ and didn’t do enough to contact Clinton before publication. Meanwhile, Clinton is doubling down on slamming Republicans on their anti-Muslim rhetoric at campaign events in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
The attacks are mostly aimed at Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner who has said he would impose a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, but also target Senator Ted Cruz, an ultraconservative, who said Friday that the terror arrests made in his state underscore the need to block Syrian refugees from entering the U.S.
Clinton’s statement in recent days has become more and more pointed, with the Democratic front-runner claiming Republicans are ‘foolish’ and ‘shortsighted’ in their approach. ’You know one of the reasons I’ve reacted so negatively to what I hear coming from the other side is not only what they are saying about Muslims is wrong and shameful, it’s dangerous,’ she said at a campaign stop in Iowa this week. ‘Basically, they’re saying, ‘We don’t want your help stopping these terrorists, we want to treat you like you don’t belong here.’’ The Times said Kasich, the governor of Ohio, deserves the Republican nod because he is ‘the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race.’ But, the paper contended, Kasich ‘is no moderate,’ citing his battles with public-sector unions, support for limiting abortion rights and opposition to same-sex marriage.’Still, as a veteran of partisan fights and bipartisan deals during nearly two decades in the House, he has been capable of compromise and believes in the ability of government to improve lives,’ the Times wrote.
Kasich quickly tweeted his appreciation for the endorsement. ‘Proud to have the support of the @nytimes - Together we can make America safer & stronger -John #Kasich4Us,’ he said. But in backing Kasich, the Times took swipes at the two candidates leading the Republican field, Trump and Texas Senator Cruz, saying they are ‘equally objectionable for different reasons.’
The paper accused Trump of disingenuously making promises to his supporters to win their backing, while it charged Cruz with alienating his Senate colleagues and criticized his positions on Syria and taxes.