The Des Moines Register hasn’t endorsed a Republican presidential candidate since 1972 when it endorsed Richard Nixon. This week, the newspaper, which supported Barack Obama in 2008, has endorsed Mitt Romney.
Are newspapers that made endorsements of Barack Obama in 2008 turning the tide and supporting his Republican challenger in this year’s presidential race? That could be the narrative days leading up to the election.
One of the biggest newsmakers this week was the Des Moines Register. It wrote a lengthy editorial explaining Sunday its endorsement of the former Massachusetts Governor. The editorial board cited the economy has the primary issue in this campaign: getting more Americans back to work and balancing the federal budget.
“Which candidate could forge the compromises in Congress to achieve these goals? When the question is framed in those terms, Mitt Romney emerges the stronger candidate,” wrote the Register.
“The former governor and business executive has a strong record of achievement in both the private and the public sectors. He was an accomplished governor in a liberal state. He founded and ran a successful business that turned around failing companies. He successfully managed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.”
It then stated the many problems still facing the United States: the unemployment rate, devastating deficits in Social Security and Medicare, the lack of economic growth and there are no signs that it could get better with the president getting a second term.
“There is not a lot of difference between the two candidates’ short-term economic plans, as both are heavy on a promise of tax cuts for the middle class but short on details. Romney’s plan, however, goes beyond helping the middle class with tax breaks,” added the Register.
“Voters should give Mitt Romney a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington and the rest of America — with the understanding that he would face the same assessment in four years if he does not succeed.”
Between 1912 and 1960, it endorsed only Republicans, such as William H. Taft and Herbert Hoover (endorsing Nixon in 1972), but since 1976, it has largely supported Democrats, including the likes of former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
Other newspapers across the U.S., according to the Daily Caller, have endorsed Romney, such as the Orlando Sentinel, the Quad City Times, the Reno-Gazette Journal and other news outlets in Texas, New York, California and Illinois.