NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS ASSESS OBAMA AND ROMNEY STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

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By Miriam Raftery

October 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Major newspapers across the nation are making their endorsements for president.  To date, of the 100 largest newspapers in the U.S., 34 have endorsed President Barack Obama and 28  recommended Mitt Romney to their readers. Though the President leads in total endorsements, Romney has the edge among newspapers in swing states, notably the Des Moines Register in Iowa.

Predictably, the Chicago Tribune endorsed Obama, a former Illinois Senator. But the Boston Globe, Massachusetts’ biggest newspaper, snubbed former Massachusetts Governor Romney, choosing Obama instead, citing concerns over Romney’s flip-flops. The Salt Lake City Tribune in Utah, a Mormon stronghold where Romney served as chief executive of the Olympics, also endorsed Obama instead of Romney. Newspapers choosing Romney primarily cited his business experience and a need to reduce debt, while Obama backers cited progress stabilizing the economy, financial and healthcare reforms, and strengths in foreign policy.

As nonpartisan media, East County Magazine does not endorse candidates. Below we bring you excerpts of major newspaper endorsements across the nation for both Romney and Obama.  Scroll down to read our picks, or click here for links to more newspaper editorials. 

NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS  FOR OBAMA

The New Yorker: "The choice is clear. The Romney-Ryan ticket represents a constricted and backward-looking vision of America: the privatization of the public good…But we’ve already seen the future that Romney represents, and it doesn’t work… The reëlection of Barack Obama is a matter of great urgency. Not only are we in broad agreement with his policy directions; we also see in him what is absent in Mitt Romney—a first-rate political temperament and a deep sense of fairness and integrity. A two-term Obama Administration will leave an enduringly positive imprint on political life. It will bolster the ideal of good governance and a social vision that tempers individualism with a concern for community. Every Presidential election involves a contest over the idea of America. Obama’s America—one that progresses, however falteringly, toward social justice, tolerance, and equality—represents the future that this country deserves."

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2012/10/29/121029taco_talk_editors?currentPage=all

Detroit Free Press: "Obama’s second four-year term ought to be a no-brainer. Most two-term presidents can’t claim to have gotten as much done. The country is safer. Its economy and its largest industry have been restored to health. And health care reform, fought out over 50 years in the U.S. Congress, has at last begun in earnest." http://www.freep.com/article/20121028/OPINION01/121026117/Detroit-Free-Press-Endorsement-Top-reasons-to-re-elect-Obama-president?odyssey=nav|head

The Salt Lake Tribune: “Obama’s foreign policy record is perhaps his strongest suit, especially compared to Romney’s bellicose posture toward Russia and China and his inflammatory rhetoric regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program...The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago. Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb… Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust. Our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day.” http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/55019844-82/romney-obama-state-president.html.csp

Tampa Bay Times: “Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress. The next four years will not be easy for whoever occupies the Oval Office, but Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term.“

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/article1257328.ece

Cleveland Plain Dealer: "Today, we recommend President Obama's re-election. He has led the nation back from the brink of depression. Ohio in particular has benefited from his bold decision to revive the domestic auto industry. Because of his determination to fulfill a decades-old dream of Democrats, 30 million more Americans will soon have health insurance. His Race to the Top initiative seeded many of the education reforms embodied in Cleveland's Transformation Plan. He ended the war in Iraq and refocused the battle to disrupt al-Qaida and its terrorist allies.He ordered the risky attack inside Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden."

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/10/on_the_basis_of_sound_leadersh.htm

Sacramento Bee: “The scariest part of a Romney victory is the potential that he and Paul Ryan would attempt to shape the U.S. Supreme Court to match their religious and political beliefs, including opposition to abortion. As Ryan made clear in the debate Thursday, "Our faith informs us in everything we do."…Obama – unruffled by Looney Tunes claims that he is a "socialist" and a "Marxist" – has pursued a consistent, moderate path that has pulled this country back from the brink and put it on a path toward recovery. In a second term, with just a little help from Congress, he could finish the job and pursue other priorities, including upgrading transportation infrastructure, reinvesting in higher education and making the United States a leader in clean energy technologies. By contrast, Romney has been all over the map on climate change, health care reform and fiscal policy, and he seems determined to lead us into a costly war in Iran, regardless of the consequences.

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/14/4907756/barack-obama-for-president.html#storylink=cpy

Boston Globe: “Obama’s reelection would also curb the growing power of special interests, who so often hide their self-serving agendas behind a facade of fist-in-the-air patriotism and promises of low taxes. Anyone who lived through the crash of 2008, and now sees Republicans in Congress seeking to thwart the Dodd-Frank law’s protections, should sense the true impetus behind all the pronouncements about unleashing the job creators...Obama is both the key to a brighter future and the bulwark against a return to the chaos of the Bush years. …Romney touted his health plan as a national model, then claimed that states should devise their own solutions. Lately, he’s talked about another federal plan. In the primaries, Romney catered to the right by promising to cut income-tax rates by an extra 20 percent beyond the extension of the Bush cuts. Now, he cagily claims he’d pay for it by cutting loopholes that don’t strike the middle class, which is mathematically impossible; this additional tax cut, far larger than Bush’s, should erase any notion that Romney is a fiscal conservative.”

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2012/10/28/election-endorsement-barack-obama-deserves-another-term/KuJG4aANDHHpEqKVYsLIaM/story.html

Los Angeles Times: "The nation has been well served by President Obama's steady leadership… He has confronted two inherited wars and the deepest recession since the Great Depression. He brought America's misguided adventure in Iraq to an end and arrested the economic downturn (though he did not fully reverse it) with the 2009 fiscal stimulus and a high-risk strategy to save the U.S. automobile industry. He secured passage of a historic healthcare reform law — the most important social legislation since Medicare..… The most troubling aspect of Romney's candidacy is that we still don't know what his principles are. Is he the relatively moderate Republican who was governor of Massachusetts, the "severely conservative" one on display in the GOP primaries or the more reasonable-sounding fellow who reappeared at the presidential debates? His modulating positions on his own tax plan, healthcare reform, financial regulation, Medicare, immigration and the national safety net add to the impression that the only thing he really stands for is his own election.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-end-president-20121021,0,3229774.story

Chicago Tribune: “Barack Obama, with quick study and sure gait, led an administration effort to stabilize the U.S. economy…Four years ago, when we endorsed Obama’s run for the White House, we said he would act with decisiveness and intellectual rigor. Ironically he has shown those attributes most where Americans might have expected them least. That is, in his handling of an unfamiliar realm: world affairs. He set and stuck to a withdrawal schedule for U.S. troops in Iraq. He ordered a surge in Afghanistan -- to the anguish of many of his political supporters -- that gave that nation time to mature and, by the close of 2014, likely will conclude a war launched four weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He approved the perilous mission that killed Osama bin Laden.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-obama-endorsement-chicago-tribune-20121026,0,5462618.story

NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS FOR ROMNEY 

Omaha World Herald: “America needs a president who is smart and experienced enough to turn this economy around. A president who will lower unemployment, cut budget deficits, reduce the national debt, set appropriate tax rates to grow the economy for all Americans. A president who can instill confidence and lead the country from a weak recovery to a robust economic future. It's a job for Mitt Romney.” http://www.omaha.com/article/20121007/NEWS0802/710079985/1677

Sioux City Journal: “In Romney, who we endorsed to be the Republican nominee before both the 2008 and 2012 Iowa Caucuses, we see a man possessed of successful, executive decision-making experience in both the private and public sectors who understands economics and who would apply necessary conservative principles to meeting the country's fiscal challenges. We would rather put our faith in the blueprint put forth by Romney than in another four years of Barack Obama.”

http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/opinion/editorial/our-opinion-mitt-romney-he-s-the-change-america-needs/article_c9f05db4-801b-53f4-8910-047c2ded9f07.html

Des Moines Register: “The president’s prescription upon entering office was a dose of government stimulus, which was the right call because it put cash in the pockets of consumers, made investments in vital infrastructure and kept millions of teachers and police officers on the job. That stimulus was necessary to bridge the nation from recession to recovery, but the time is past for more government stimulus…A renewed sense of confidence will spark renewed investment by American companies….That should come with Mitt Romney in the White House.” “http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20121027/OPINION03/121026026/The-Des-Moines-Register-endorsement-Mitt-Romney-offers-fresh-economic-vision?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1

Dallas Morning News: “Romney has shown an ability to lead, from turning around the deficit-ridden 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics to his term as Massachusetts governor. His plans for tax and entitlement reform are encouraging, shifting the focus from government first to freeing the private sector to innovate. Voters should demand more specifics, but at the heart of his plans — especially on reforming a teetering Medicare system — is an instinct to rely on competition over regulation to drive growth.”

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/20120928-we-recommend-mitt-romney-for-president.ece

Orlando Sentinel: “Romney is not our ideal candidate for president. We've been turned off by his appeals to social conservatives and immigration extremists. Like most presidential hopefuls, including Obama four years ago, Romney faces a steep learning curve on foreign policy. But the core of Romney's campaign platform, his five-point plan, at least shows he understands that reviving the economy and repairing the government's balance sheet are imperative — now, not four years in the future… Romney has a strong record of leadership to run on. He built a successful business. He rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from scandal and mismanagement. As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with a Democrat-dominated legislature to close a $3billion budget deficit without borrowing or raising taxes, and pass the health plan that became a national model.

.http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-endorsement-president-mitt-romney-101912-20121018,0,6927962.story

Las Vegas Review Journal: “Nevadans must ask themselves which candidate will embrace policies that will put the people of this state back to work, creating the jobs that lift our incomes, our home values and our hope.The choice is clear. Only Mitt Romney has the principles and experience needed to put America back on the road to prosperity.” 

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/for-president-173016161.html

Tampa Tribune: “Romney's record as a determined, detail-oriented leader who demands results strongly suggests he would find a workable middle ground in such conflicts…You can trust him to fulfill his pledge to slash the overabundance of federal regulations. We expect he will tackle the growth of entitlement spending methodically, understanding caution is necessary when revising important programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. A few of Romney's stands trouble us. He can be bellicose on foreign affairs. His gushing enthusiasm for oil drilling and fossil fuels is a worry in Florida, where drilling off our Gulf of Mexico beaches would be a disaster. But we are reassured by Romney's history as a deliberate leader of strong conservative values who will listen to others and carefully evaluate the facts.”

http://www2.tbo.com/news/opinion/2012/oct/21/2/vwopino1-mitt-romney-for-president-ar-538797/

Houston Chronicle: “The Chronicle's backing of Barack Obama in 2008 broke a 44-year string of endorsing Republican candidates for president. Like so many others, we were captivated by the Illinois senator's soaring rhetoric and energized by his promise to move American politics beyond partisan gridlock and into an era of hope and change. It hasn't happened. Four years later, President Obama's deeds have failed to match his words, much less his specific vows to cut the national debt by half and bring the nation's unemployment rate to 6 percent. As Texans, it is a particular vexation that this president's attitude toward the interests of our state has occasionally bordered on contempt, particularly in decisions relating to the NASA budget and the energy sector.”

http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Romney-for-president-3965675.php

Arizona Republic: “Not counting long-term unfunded liabilities tied to Social Security and to many of those Johnson-era programs, the nation is more than $16 trillion in real-time debt, one of the greatest financial-debt burdens in modern history. Our belief that Republican Mitt Romney should be elected the 45th president of the United States is anchored in that tough reality… We believe the nation's best opportunity to escape the compounding woes of spiraling debt and economic stagnation lies with a president who believes in the free market's capacity to heal its own wounds. That leader is Romney.”

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2012/10/18/20121018romney-republic-endorsement.html?nclick_check=1#ixzz2AkgVSU37