This is somewhat significant as the Conservative Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper has endorsed every Republican presidential candidate since 1980 up till now.
The Times-Dispatch editorial board began to explore the possibility of endorsing Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, several weeks ago, as scandal continued to engulf the Democratic nominee while the Republican candidate’s statements and behavior daily piled distress upon puzzlement.
Johnson’s clear and consistent support for limited government, free enterprise, social tolerance and individual freedom appeals to our own philosophical leanings. An examination of his policy positions revealed that they often match our longstanding editorial creed. (Nearby, you’ll find an analysis of how the candidates fare when judged by the standards of that creed, as well as a look at the history of editorial endorsements by The Times-Dispatch.)
But our final decision to endorse the Johnson/Weld ticket, and to do so with great confidence and enthusiasm, came only after Johnson met with the editorial board last Monday morning. We found him to be knowledgeable but unscripted, reasonable and good-humored, self-assured but free from arrogance, willing and able to address every question, consistent in his beliefs without being dogmatic, even-tempered, curious — and in all respects optimistically, realistically presidential.
We have over the years interviewed hundreds of politicians — local, state, and national — and there’s no doubt that Johnson belongs in the major leagues, and on the debate stage this fall. He is a skilled and experienced leader, an able communicator, an intelligent man.