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Pittsburgh newspaper backs Trump in first GOP presidential endorsement since 1972

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed President Trump on Saturday, the first time the newspaper has backed a Republican candidate since 1972.

While the editorial board said it preferred the "first-class temperament and demeanor" of former world leaders such as Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFormer Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance Riding to the rescue on climate, the Biden administration needs powerful partners MORE, it endorsed Trump on the basis of the pre-COVID-19 economy, his Supreme Court nominees and his work in the energy industry, a key sector in the western Pennsylvania region.

"Under Mr. Trump the United States achieved energy independence for the first time in the lifetimes of most of us. Where would Western Pennsylvania be without the Shell Petrochemical Complex (the 'cracker plant')?" the editorial board wrote.

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In its endorsement, the newspaper also acknowledged Trump’s less-than-presidential conduct.

“We share the embarrassment of millions of Americans who are disturbed by the president’s unpresidential manners and character — his rudeness and put-downs and bragging and bending of the truth,” the editorial read.

In 2018, the newspaper fired longtime cartoonist Rob Rogers after it rejected several of his cartoons that were critical of Trump, according to The Washington Post.

The paper criticized Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenRev. Barber says best way to undercut extremism is with honesty Biden requires international travelers to quarantine upon arrival to US Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE, a Pennsylvania native, for his stance on ending fracking and other "Cuckoo California dreams."

Biden has repeatedly stated that he has no plans to ban fracking and instead would seek to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The paper also makes light of Biden’s promised well-paying green jobs, suggesting these positions would likely not be in Pennsylvania or other states that depend on energy production.

While painting Biden, 77,  as being “too old for the job, and fragile,” it acknowledges that it believes Trump at 74 is also too old but “seemingly robust.”

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed Obama during his campaign runs in 2008 and 2012.

Pennsylvania is one of the key battleground states that could help determine the winner of the presidential contest on Tuesday.

Updated at 1:39 p.m.