Newspaper Apologizes for Endorsement

'Orlando Sentinel' rips Fla. GOP Rep. Michael Waltz for signing on to Texas election suit
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2020 3:35 PM CST
Newspaper Apologizes for Endorsement
Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., speaks before President Trump during a campaign rally at the Ocala International Airport on Oct. 16, 2020, in Ocala, Fla.   (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

More than 100 House Republicans have signed on to a Texas lawsuit trying to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's win, and a local paper that endorsed one of them is now offering a public mea culpa. "We apologize for endorsing US Rep. Michael Waltz, who wants to overturn the election," is the blunt headline from the Orlando Sentinel editorial board. "We had no idea, had no way of knowing at the time, that Waltz was not committed to democracy." It's not that the board had a change of heart about Clint Curtis, the Democrat who ran against Waltz—the editorial calls Curtis a "fairly dismal candidate"—but that Waltz is part of a group causing the US to now "[teeter] on the edge of constitutional disaster." "We now know what we didn't then—that Waltz ... is willing to undermine the nation to ensure his political party remains in control," it states.

The board goes on to note it hadn't thought of asking Waltz a critical question before the election—one it says it now will ask of future candidates: "Would you support an effort to throw out the votes of tens of millions of Americans in four states in order to overturn a presidential election and hand it to the person who lost?" On Wednesday, Waltz defended his support of the Texas suit. "For those who are saying this is threatening democracy, I think ignoring [voting irregularities] or sweeping them under the rug is bad for our democracy," he told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. (Forbes notes these allegations so far haven't panned out in the courts or with the Justice Department.) Despite his explainer, the Sentinel isn't budging. "Everyone who supported Michael Waltz for Congress should feel a deep sense of remorse and regret," the board members write. "We do." (More Orlando Sentinel stories.)

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