The editorial board of The Des Moines Register on Saturday endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the respective Republican and Democratic nominations for president.
In its endorsement of Rubio, the editorial board took a shot at Donald Trump, who is leading polls in the state. The board noted that the Republican party could choose "anger, pessimism and fear. Or they could take a different path."
"Sen. Marco Rubio has the potential to chart a new direction for the party, and perhaps the nation, with his message of restoring the American dream. We endorse him because he represents his party’s best hope," the paper wrote.
In endorsing Clinton, the editorial board noted that "the presidency is not an entry-level position."
"Democrats have one outstanding candidate deserving of their support: Hillary Clinton. No other candidate can match the depth or breadth of her knowledge and experience," the board wrote.
Still, the paper criticized Clinton for the way she handled the controversy surrounding her exclusive use of a private email while she was secretary of state.
"She is not a perfect candidate, as evidenced the way she has handled the furor over her private email server. In our endorsement of her 2008 campaign for president, we wrote that 'when she makes a mistake, she should just say so.' That appears to be a lesson she has yet to fully embrace," the board wrote.
The endorsement from the largest paper in the state comes nine days before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses.
According to HuffPost Pollster, which aggregates publicly available polling data, Clinton maintains a slight lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) while Rubio trails Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas).
Ahead of the state's 2008 caucuses, the paper endorsed then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, who lost the state to then-Sen. Barack Obama, and Sen. John McCain, who lost the state to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. In 2012, the paper endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination. He finished behind former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in the caucuses.
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