Three days ahead of the next Republican debate, the Boston Herald in a Monday editorial endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the party's New Hampshire primary election, arguing that as president he could provide the leadership necessary as the world faces threats from extremists such as the Islamic State group. The rival Boston Globe, meanwhile, urged New Hampshire Republicans to vote for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Neither candidate leads in the polls. In the latest Fox News poll, Christie received support from only 3 percent of likely Republican primary voters, while Kasich received support from 4 percent. Christie's poll numbers lost him an invitation to the main stage at a GOP debate in November, relegating him to the so-called undercard debate.
The Boston Herald argued Monday that Christie is equipped to deal with the radicalism that grips the international community. "A former U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, Christie knows something about being on the front lines of the ongoing war on terror," the Herald wrote. "And he’s certainly not reluctant to talk about where this nation has gone astray on the international front."
The Boston Herald is not the only New England news outlet to back Christie. The New Hampshire Union Leader also threw its weight behind the New Jersey governor.
In the 2012 presidential election, the Boston Herald endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. During the 2008 election, the paper backed Sen. John McCain.
The Boston Herald referenced Christie's "Jersey guy attitude" and often feisty demeanor when it comes to politics.
"He has been gutsy on the campaign trail — and yes it takes guts to talk about entitlement reform, which he has," it wrote. "He has also established a solid reputation in New Jersey for education reform and expanding school choice, and for criminal justice reform, including tackling the growing problem of drug addiction by expanding the use of drug courts and treatment options."
By contrast, the Boston Globe backed Kasich for his positivity while on the campaign trail.
"The Globe urges them to support John Kasich, whose record as governor of Ohio shows him to be a pragmatic, fiscally responsible executive, but one who is also concerned with helping the poor," the paper wrote. "His success in that important swing state, and his record as a moderate conservative who is willing to compromise in pursuit of results, suggests he is the Republican hopeful most likely to be successful on the national stage. By voting for Kasich, New Hampshire can reward a candidate whose politics have been largely positive — and rebuke those candidates who have spent their campaign appealing to voters’ fears and biases."
The Republican presidential debate will be held Thursday 9 p.m. EST and hosted by Fox News.