hillary clinton.jpg
Photograph: EPA/TANNEN MAURY

The New York Times on Saturday endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John Kasich two days ahead of first-in-the-nation intra-party voting in the US presidential campaign in Iowa.

The editorial board of the renowned US newspaper cited both candidates' experience, but singled out Clinton - a former first lady, US senator and secretary of state - in particular.

Democratic primary voters "have the chance to nominate one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history," the board said.

The newspaper went on to say Clinton "is the right choice for the Democrats to present a vision for America that is radically different from the one that leading Republican candidates offer."

The Times editorial board has endorsed Clinton three times in the past - twice in her successful bids for a seat representing New York in the US Senate and once in her 2008 Democratic presidential bid, which she lost to Barack Obama.

Its only mention of a scandal over her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state was to say that it was "legitimate" to raise questions about it and those questions deserved "forthright answers."

The email scandal arose again Friday when the US State Department said the contents of 22 of her emails would not be released because they contain top secret information. But it also said the emails were not marked classified at the time that they were sent.

In endorsing Kasich, the newspaper described the Republican race so far as "nasty" and "brutish," but said the underdog governor of Ohio "is the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race."

Kasich served nearly 20 years in the US House of Representatives during which he showed an ability to compromise and policies that showed he believes in the ability of government to improve lives.

The endorsement highlighted his moderate views, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and compassion for poor people and mentally ill people.

But it also said he "is no moderate," having gone after public-sector unions, fought to limit abortion rights and opposed same-sex marriage as governor of Ohio.

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