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Trump scores first major newspaper endorsement from Sheldon Adelson-owned Las Vegas Review-Journal

Donald Trump just scored his first major newspaper endorsement... from a paper owned by a GOP mega-donor who's given him millions.


Chris Tognotti


Published Oct 24, 2016   Updated May 25, 2021, 5:55 pm CDT

The Trump campaign can now add one more newspaper to its slim list of editorial board endorsements. On Sunday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal‘s editorial board officially endorsed the GOP nominee, making it one of just four daily newspapers to take that step, and the only major one of the bunch. The other three are the Santa Barbara News-Press, the Saint Joseph News-Press, and the Waxahachie Daily Light and come nowhere close to the distribution and readership of papers like the Review-Journal.

Many are viewing the endorsement with some degree of skepticism and curiosity thanks to the political leanings of the paper’s owner. The Journal-Review is the property of casino tycoon and GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, the very man who’s bankrolled several GOP presidential aspirants in the past, and has been in Donald Trump’s corner since the bombastic real estate tycoon seized the Republican nomination.

CNN reported that Adelson, who’s reportedly donated more than $25 million to Trump’s cause, had finally lost patience with his falters on the campaign trail, and his friendly-fire clashes with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. An anonymous source close to Adelson suggested he’d be focusing his time and money in the final weeks on keeping Republicans in control of the Congress rather than propping up Trump’s fading candidacy.

However, despite whatever personal reservations Adelson may or may not have about Trump’s chances, the Republican party’s newest standard-bearer still managed to land a major endorsement from the editorial board of Adelson’s newspaper. That’s got to feel like a long overdue feather in the Trump campaign’s cap, although it effectively does nothing to mitigate just how weak they’ve been with such endorsements. 

Explaining its decision to back Trump over Clinton, the Review-Journal editorial board cited what it called the “substantive issues” of the day, although it overlooked entirely some of the personal character questions that have plagued Trump’s candidacy, in particular the more than ten women who’ve accused him of sexual harassment and assault

Rather, the endorsement focuses on the composition of the Supreme Court, Trump’s tax plan, the national debt (which a recent analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found would be increased five times more by Trump than by Clinton), and the protection of the Second Amendment. It also argues that Clinton would acquiesce to the demands of the “authoritarian left.”

Make no mistake, a Hillary Clinton administration would indulge the worst instincts of the authoritarian left and continue to swell the bloated regulatory state while running the nation deeper into the red in pursuit of “free” college and health care.

In summation, it concludes that Trump is “neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave,” but insists that he’ll “be a source of disruption and discomfort to the privileged, back-scratching political elites,” thus earning the paper’s endorsement. The move breaks from what’s been a striking trend this election cycle that’s seen traditionally conservative editorial boards like those of the Arizona Republic, the Dallas Morning News, and the Cincinnati Enquirer endorse a Democrat for the first time in decades.

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*First Published: Oct 24, 2016, 8:00 am CDT