Major Maine newspaper endorses Klobuchar's 2020 bid, rips Sanders, Biden

Maine's only independently owned daily newspaper is endorsing Sen. Amy Klobuchar's (D-Minn.) presidential bid ahead of the state's Democratic caucuses next week, with the Bangor Daily News praising her as "a centrist who earns praise from Republicans."

The paper's editorial board argues that Klobuchar, who trails four other candidates in delegate totals after contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, "has a record of winning in more conservative rural areas and among swing voters."

"Klobuchar is a centrist who earns praise from Republicans. This should be seen as a benefit, not a drawback at a time when both political parties too often move to their extremes and gridlock is a hallmark in Washington," the editors write.

"She also has a record of winning in more conservative rural areas and among swing voters, important qualities in a Democratic nominee who will face President Donald Trump in November," they added.

The endorsement comes even though Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), the front-runner in the 2020 Democratic race, hails from a neighboring state.

The newspaper argues that Sanders is an "avowed socialist" who risks Democrats' chances in the House and Senate if he is the party's presidential nominee. 

"[Sanders] has rarely worked with the party to make it stronger nor has he built broad Democratic support for his liberal ideas on health care and economic inequality," reads the editorial.

"Further, there is a danger for Democrats that having an avowed socialist at the top of the ticket could hurt the party's candidates for the U.S. House and Senate." 

The paper also dismisses Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in arguing that her policies are too liberal to become reality, but it saves its most pointed criticism for former Vice President Joe Biden.

"His repeated gaffes, unsatisfactory reaction to questions about his son Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine and propensity to snap back at people who challenge him, however, are growing tiresome," the paper's editors write.

Sanders, 78, won the Pine Tree State's caucuses in 2016 easily over eventual nominee Hillary Clinton, taking 64 percent of the popular vote versus Clinton's 35 percent.