In unprecedented move, USA Today says don't vote for Trump — but it doesn't endorse Hillary Clinton either

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In the 34 years the USA Today has printed papers, its editorial board says it has never taken a position in a US presidential election.

That changed on Thursday, with the board issuing an a scathing rebuke of Republican candidate Donald Trump.

The paper, like many others have in recent weeks, called Trump "ill-equipped to be commander in chief," saying he "traffics in prejudice," "isn't leveling with the American people," and is "a serial liar."

"Did you ever imagine that a presidential candidate would discuss the size of his genitalia during a nationally televised Republican debate? Neither did we," the editorial board wrote. "Did you ever imagine a presidential candidate, one who avoided service in the military, would criticize Gold Star parents who lost a son in Iraq? Neither did we."

But this was not an endorsement for Hillary Clinton. The eight-person editorial board was split on giving the Democratic candidate its support.

In a separate story explaining why the paper broke with tradition, the board wrote that it thought about what USA Today founder Al Neuharth would have done.

RELATED: See the famous faces that aren't voting for Donald Trump

Notable people who have spoken out against Donald Trump
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Notable people who have spoken out against Donald Trump

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

The Mayor did not hold back in this tweet:

"I didn’t realize this was in question. Behaves like a racist, speaks like a racist…of course @RealDonaldTrump is a racist."

 REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Martha Stewart

In an interview win CNNMoney Stewart said "There is so much to know and so much to learn and so much diplomacy and kindness and introspection that goes with that kind of job, and it does not exist in the world of Donald Trump."

REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian 

Stephen Hawking 

British physicist, Professor Stephen Hawking speaks during the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Paralympics in London, Wednesday Aug. 29, 2012. Hawking was interviewed on British TV Monday May 30, 2016, saying UK should stay inside the European Union because of its support for research, and he cannot fathom the popularity of presumptive candidate for U.S. president Donald Trump, saying he "seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator.”

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, FILE)

George Clooney

In an interview with the Guardian the actor said this

"He's just an opportunist. Now he's a fascist; a xenophobic fascist."

(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

John Oliver

The host of the Last week Tonight dedicated 20 minutes of his show to completely annihilate everything Trump stands for.

Click here to watch the Segment.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

J.K. Rowling

The beloved author took to twitter and compared him to the worst of the worst, "How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad."

(Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Robert De Niro

At the  22nd Sarajevo Film Festival Robert De Niro made his opinion very clear on what he thinks of Trump. "It's crazy that people like Donald Trump . . . he shouldn't even be where he is, so God help us"

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham spoke at the Democratic National Convention and had this to say about Trump. ""Donald and his party think I should be punished for exercising my constitutional rights, and his rhetoric about women takes us back to a time when we were meant to be beautiful and silent."

Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx 

Mark Ruffalo

 Ruffalo and many more stars have signed a petition entitled #UnitedagainstHate to stand against Donald Trump

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier 

America Ferrera

America Ferrera wrote an open letter on the HuffingtonPost to Donald Trump thanking him for his portrayal of Latin immigrants. In her letter she states "You, Mr. Trump, are living in an outdated fantasy of a bigoted America. Last week, America celebrated some amazing milestones — marriage equality, universal healthcare, removing of the confederate flag — making it clear in which direction the country is moving. That is why racist remarks that play to extremists won’t change the tide, no matter how hard you try. They will only serve to rally more Latino voters to the polls. Your negativity and your poorly thought out speech ignited a fire in our community. Thank you, Mr. Trump!"

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Sarah Silverman

In March 2016 Silverman tweeted this : 

"DRUMPF is NEGGING us and we've fallen for it - we're obsessed w this candidate we had no intention of ever acknowledging #TheGame'

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)


In 2012, Neuharth wrote his own editorial saying then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should stop appearing with Trump.

"He's a clown who loves doing or saying things, no matter how ridiculous they may be," Neuharth wrote. "No politician or voter—or Yankee fan—should take him seriously."

As it's customary for USA Today editorials to offer an opposing view, the tirade against Trump appears alongside a counterpoint from his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana.

Instead of voting for Trump, the editorial board suggests voters "stay true to your convictions," whether that means voting for Clinton, a third-party candidate, or a write-in.

"Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue," the editorial concludes. "By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump."

Read the editorial board's full anti-endorsement here >>

And its explanation of why this is the first time here >>

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