CBSN

New York Times, Washington Post editorials eviscerate Donald Trump

In advance of the historic debate that’s expected to draw tens of millions of viewers, the editorial boards of two of America’s most respected media outlets both argued the case for Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States this past weekend. 

On Sunday, New York Times headlined its editorial section with “Why Donald Trump Should Not Be President,” arguing that the reality-star-turned-GOP candidate’s views “were matters of dangerous impulse and cynical pandering rather than thoughtful politics.” 

“He has attracted throngs of Americans who ascribe higher purpose to him than he has demonstrated in a freewheeling campaign marked by bursts of false and outrageous allegations, personal insults, xenophobic nationalism, unapologetic sexism and positions that shift according to his audience and his whims,” its editorial board wrote.

The newspaper continued, urging undecided voters to take a hard look at Trump’s track record -- at his now-defunct Trump University, his failed casinos in Atlantic City, his “questionable global investments in Russia and elsewhere.” The editorial criticized Trump for having made “117 distinct policy shifts on 20 major issues” since he announced his presidential candidacy in June 2015, including his stance on abortion, and, most recently, the “birther” controversy in which Trump initially claimed that President Obama wasn’t a native born American, and then blamed his Democratic rival for circulating the untruthful story. 

The Times editorial board also made an appeal to those who characterize the business mogul as “an expert negotiator,” pointing readers toward policy plans it characterized as unclear or absent -- from how he would eliminate the threat posed by extremist groups to replacing President Obama’s healthcare system with “something much better.”

Beyond his controversial comments, however, the Times argued that voters should take into consideration the things he hasn’t talked about: his silence on the nation’s schools, lifting Americans out of poverty, racial progress and other “areas of national life that are crying out for constructive change.” 

Meanwhile, the Washington Post editorial board published its own brief opinion of the GOP nominee, with the headline, “It’s beyond debate that Donald Trump is unfit to be president.” The stakes of Monday night’s debate couldn’t be higher, the Post said. Even if Trump “manages to conduct himself ‘presidentially’ for an hour and a half,” the editorial board wrote, that “could not undo the many, many instances...in which he has insulted, acted out, lied and countenanced violence beyond even some of the  most rough-and-tumble precedents of modern American politics.”

  • Julia Boccagno

    Julia Boccagno is a news associate for CBS News.