The New York Observer, owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, threw its support behind Mitt Romney in an endorsement titled “Romney for President.”
The lengthy editorial, published online ahead of the presidential debate Tuesday, praised Romney as a “moderate to his core” and the “change New York needs,” urging readers to support the Republican nominee’s candidacy. The Observer gave President Obama — whom the salmon-colored paper endorsed in 2008 — credit for stemming the financial crisis, but wrote that the president’s “class warfare” is no way to unite the country.
“While we admire Mr. Obama, we believe he squandered an opportunity to bring positive change to Washington — and what change he did bring will burden future generations. We continue to rack up debt, buy services we cannot afford and allow unfunded liabilities to continue to grow. This has to end.”
The paper’s editorials are often right-of-center, and sometimes mischievous. In 2001, before Kushner owned the paper, an editorial called for Hillary Clinton’s resignation before she even took office as New York’s then-junior senator. Other past editorial headlines, as rounded up by Gawker, include: “Barack Obama: No Friend of Israel,” “Not That It’s Any Of Our Business, But Lloyd Blankfein Earned His Raise” and “Governor, Stand Your Ground! No Raises for State Worker Unions.”
A source familiar with the paper’s inner workings told TPM the editorials are “reflective of the owner’s views,” adding that the news section doesn’t coordinate with the editorial page.
The Romney endorsement, while labeled an editorial, ran above the fold in the paper’s print edition. Observer editor Aaron Gell told TPM, “The Observers editorials and endorsements are made by the paper’s editorial board,” but declined to say who sits on that board or who writes the copy. Gell said the decision to give the editorial front-page treatment was motivated by a “feeling (that) it’s a very important editorial.”
Publisher Kushner, son of a New Jersey real estate developer, bought the paper in 2006, when he was just 25. His father, Charles Kushner, has been a major Democratic donor and served time in prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion. Jared Kushner married Ivanka Trump in 2009, and the couple has reportedly spent vacations on Rupert Murdoch’s sailboat.
Read the full editorial here.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com