Conservative Arizona newspaper tears into Donald Trump, endorses Hillary Clinton for president

During its 126-year history, The Arizona Republic, Arizona's largest newspaper, has always endorsed a Republican candidate for president.

But that all changed with Donald Trump.

For the first time ever, the newspaper's editorial board has announced it is endorsing a Democratic candidate: Hillary Clinton.

Referring to Trump, the board wrote, "The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified."

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In the piece, the newspaper praises Clinton's political track record and her ability to withstand criticism throughout her career, including from Trump, who has often crossed generally accepted boundaries during this election cycle — hitting Clinton's personal and professional life in ways the paper describes as "demeaning."

"They are evidence of deep character flaws," the editorial board wrote, "They are part of a pattern."

"The challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting," the column reads. "Hillary Clinton understands this. Donald Trump does not."

The publication goes on to criticize Trump's many controversies on the campaign trail — many of which have prompted critics to question whether he is fit to be commander-in-chief.

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Joint Economic Committee members Rep. Richard Hanna listens to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke (foreground) at the Joint Economic Committee hearings in Washington May 22, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File Photo
Henry 'Hank' Paulson, chairman and founder of the Paulson Institute and former U.S. Treasury secretary, gestures as he speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in London, U.K., on Monday, May 11, 2015. 'For the U.K. to be economically relevant by far the best case is to be an economic leader in one of the biggest economic blocs in the world,' Paulson said. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images **
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Former United States Secretary of Commerce and CEO of the Kellogg Company, Carlos Gutierrez poses for a portrait at the Capital Hilton on Thursday January 31, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
INSA Chairman of the Board John Negroponte speaks during the inaugural Intelligence Community Summit organized by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) on September 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Richard Armitage, former US Deputy Secretary of State, listens as Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, Japan's chief of staff of the Joint Staff Council and Self-Defense Forces, speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on July 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft listens during a forum discussion at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies on October 22, 2013 in Washington. Former US government officials and academics joined to speak about the current meaning of national security. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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"The president commands our nuclear arsenal," they wrote. "Trump can't command his own rhetoric."

Apparently rebutting evidence that Trump appeals to down-trodden working-class voter who feel alienated by their government, the editorial board vaulted Clinton as a centrist who "knows how to compromise and to lead with intelligence, decorum and perspective."

"This is Hillary Clinton's opportunity. She can reach out to those who feel left behind. She can make it clear that America sees them and will address their concerns."

Read The Arizona Republic's full endorsement here»

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