Des Moines Register Endorses Romney

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 28 2012 12:47 PM

Des Moines Register Endorses Romney, New York Times goes for Obama

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Mitt Romney walks on the tarmac while arriving at Des Moines International Airport on October 26

Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

For the first time since 1972, Iowa’s most influential newspaper endorsed the Republican presidential candidate, saying Mitt Romney “offers a fresh economic vision” for the country. In its editorial endorsing the first Republican presidential contender since Richard Nixon, the Des Moines Register praises Romney for having “a strong record of achievement in both the private and public sectors.”

In a less surprising move, the New York Times “enthusiastically” endorsed Barack Obama for a second term. The paper has not endorsed a Republican for president since 1956, when it backed Dwight Eisenhower. In an editorial Sunday, the paper points out that while it has criticized Obama’s policy decisions in the past, there are several reasons to support the president's reelection, including health care reform, “sensible budget policies,” and his support for same-sex marriage.

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The Des Moines Register editorial board “had a vigorous debate” over the endorsement but “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.” Mitt Romney “emerges the stronger candidate” in the question of who could “forge the compromises in Congress to achieve these goals.”

For its part, the Times says it’s important to take a step back and take a look at the big picture of everything that has been achieved over the last four years. “In the poisonous atmosphere of this campaign, it may be easy to overlook Mr. Obama’s many important achievements, including carrying out the economic stimulus, saving the auto industry, improving fuel efficiency standards, and making two very fine Supreme Court appointments,” writes the Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.