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The Des Moines Register, Iowa's largest newspaper, has just released its presidential endorsement-- and it's come as quite a shock to many. Having endorsed only one other Republican since 1960, many assumed the paper would continue the pattern and endorse President Obama. Instead, it offered a glowing review of Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Though it praises the character of both President Obama and Gov. Romney, the paper highlights marked differences in the economic vision of both men:
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.
Romney has made rebuilding the economy his No. 1 campaign priority — and rightly so.
The nation has struggled to recover from recession for the past 40 months. Still, the economy is growing at an unacceptably anemic rate of around 2 percent a year and could slip back into recession depending on what happens in the European Union and China.
The workforce is still 4.5 million jobs short of the nearly 9 million that were lost in the recession. Longer term, looming deficits driven by Social Security and Medicare pose the single greatest threats to the nation’s economic security.
The president’s best efforts to resuscitate the stumbling economy have fallen short. Nothing indicates it would change with a second term in the White House. [Emphasis added]
However, the editorial board was also quick to say that Romney shouldn't adopt what they believe to be the "extreme" platform of the more conservative Republicans, implying that they are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc:
Romney should not squander an opportunity to build consensus in Washington by wasting time on issues that animate many in his party. We cannot rewind the clock on progress for minorities, women, gays and lesbians. We must make it easier for immigrants to come here to live and work legally and stop making criminals of those who are living here lawfully, paying taxes and raising families. The federal government must continue to insist on clean air and water and encourage clean and renewable energy. [Emphasis added]
However, their conclusion remains that Mitt Romney is the man for the job.
"Our discussion repeatedly circled back to the nation’s single most important challenge: pulling the economy out of the doldrums, getting more Americans back in the workforce in meaningful jobs with promising futures, and getting the federal government on a track to balance the budget in a bipartisan manner that the country demands," they write. President Obama's record thus far inspires little confidence that he's the man to turn this ship around at this point, they add.
Obama for America's Iowa Communications Director Erin Seidler tweeted just before the big announcement that it would be "hard to imagine" a Romney endorsement by the Des Moines Register, considering its recent editorials on the "extreme" position some Republicans have on women's health.
"Tweet too soon?" one Twitter user responded.