MILWAUKEE, March 30 (UPI) -- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the largest newspaper in Wisconsin, has endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich, calling him a "pragmatic conservative" ahead of the state's primary on Tuesday.
The newspaper also harshly criticized Kasich's Republican opponents, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz. The paper's editorial board labeled Trump "vacuous, unqualified and dangerously ignorant of foreign affairs." It criticized Cruz's role in the 2013 government shutdown, saying it was emblematic of his inability to "escape the twin straightjackets of ideology and ambition."
The editorial praised Kasich's "smart, pragmatic" response to last week's Brussels terrorist attacks, seeking to build stronger relationships with American Muslims as a means to prevent incidents like that from happening here.
Unlike Trump, who has suggested America should walk away from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Kasich said there needs to be closer cooperation among Western nations in combatting terrorism and sharing intelligence about potential threats.
"We have to have communication between the civilized world -- all of us together against these murderers. And that takes U.S. leadership," Kasich told the paper's editorial board.
The paper pointed out it does not normally endorse candidates for elective office, but the writers said this year's GOP presidential primary warranted breaking with that tradition.
"Kasich ... is, in fact, the only thoughtful candidate with a fundamental belief in longstanding democratic principles who remains standing in the GOP primary field," the paper wrote. "The Editorial Board normally avoids recommendations for political office. But the Republican presidential campaign this year demands a stand."