Top Utah paper knocks Chaffetz as he mulls run for governor: ‘His political career should be over’

The Salt Lake Tribune's editorial board is voicing strong opposition to former Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzThe myth of the conservative bestseller Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records MORE as the Utah Republican mulls a gubernatorial bid, writing that his "political career should be over" based on some of his statements. 

"Jason Chaffetz has made his choice," the editorial board writes.

"The former Utah congressman has not just taken a break from a career as a media-savvy and slightly wonkish politician, someone who might reasonably have aspired to the U.S. Senate and/or the Utah governor’s office," the board continues. "He has left public service, burned his bridges behind him, and gone completely over to the Dark Side of American culture." 


Chaffetz said months ago that he was a "definite maybe" in the 2020 race for Utah. A June poll commissioned by the Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah showed Chaffetz as a leading potential candidate for the position. 

But the Tribune's editors write that Chaffetz's political career should be over, based on what it calls his decision to cast "his lot with the cruelly xenophobic part of our culture that has turned its back on American history and common decency."

"In an appearance on Fox News, the pseudo-journalistic hype machine of false news and fear, he displayed an incredibly cold heart in trying to absolve the government of any responsibility for the death of a 7-year-old girl who died in federal custody," the editorial board writes. 

Earlier this month, Chaffetz, a frequent contributor on Fox News, said that the death of a migrant girl in federal custody should send the message that other migrants shouldn't make the journey to the U.S. because “it will kill you.”

The Tribune board focused on that comment, noting the "unfulfilled dream" the child was trying to take advantage of by coming to the U.S. 

"It is pitiful that one of our major political parties has completely abandoned the great values of America," it writes, before arguing that "Chaffetz has sold that belief in America for a chance at TV stardom."

"He has made his choice. The rest of us must make a different one."