Human Events Blog

Romney picks up major endorsements from papers that supported Obama in 2008

Mitt Romney has lately been racking up quite a few endorsements from newspapers which had endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2008.  Two in particular stand out this week: the New York Observer and the Tennessean.

The Observer is generally a center-left paper, but their endorsement of Romney was not tepid at all.  Their reasons for liking him might not set conservative hearts a-flutter:

A candidate has emerged from the rough and tumble of the primaries with his dignity intact. The system has produced not a demagogue but a manager, a candidate whose experience is rooted in the pragmatism of the business world rather than the ideology of partisan politics.

That candidate is Mitt Romney.

Gov. Romney won the Republican Party’s nomination precisely because he is not an ideologue—and that is no small achievement. He persuaded enough Republican primary voters that the time has come to put aside dogma and inflexibility in favor of real-world solutions to the array of problems America faces at home and abroad.

Over the last few weeks, Mr. Romney has shown that he is a moderate to his core—he is a manager, and a listener, who believes he can restore the balance between the private and public sectors that has been a hallmark of the American economy.

They’re pretty rough on Obama, giving him credit for “strong, decisive action that helped prevent a catastrophic economic meltdown on Wall Street,” but hammering him for his class warfare obsessions – which “are not the way to unite a divided nation,” and interfere with restarting America’s stalled engines of prosperity:

The president comes to town on a Monday, takes our money, shakes our hands and tells us how much he values the CEOs and innovators of New York. And then on Tuesday, he turns around and refers to business leaders as fat cat bankers whose success was created by the sweat of others. That’s not a friend. That’s not a leader. That’s a politician.

Mitt Romney stands out because—unlike so many candidates in the past—he understands how to build businesses, create efficiencies, make tough deals and carefully consider divergent viewpoints. America needs a strong leader, a practical leader. Mr. Romney knows full well that it would be a tragic mistake to simply assume that the United States will continue to be the world’s economic powerhouse simply because that’s what we’ve been for decades. America earned its global prominence because of the nation’s culture of work and individual freedom. That’s why immigrants came here and continue to come here—not because they seek a handout, but because they want a chance to work and to create and to innovate. In today’s competitive economy, the country needs competitors, not class-war crybabies.

The lengthy endorsement goes on to discuss Romney’s agenda in detail, with an emphasis on how much it will help New Yorkers.  “This election is a true turning point for the next generation,” the Observer concludes.  “Mitt Romney is the change the nation needs. And he is the change New York needs.”

If the New York Observer’s endorsement is remarkable, the Tennessean’s is downright historic.  They’re a bastion of Southern Democrats, and have not endorsed a Republican for president since 1972.  The Tennessean is grumpy about the aggravating, unsatisfying 2012 campaign, and they’re much more grudging about giving the nod to Romney.  But after depositing some pox upon both houses, they do come around to endorsing him, primarily because of the economy:

The next president must be the one with the best chance to get the crushing, $16 trillion national debt under control, coupled with the more immediate need of enabling a vibrant job market.

It is because the economy is paramount that The Tennessean endorses Gov. Mitt Romney for president.

President Obama and Gov. Romney have different jobs plans. Yet, neither can actually create jobs, despite what they say in speeches and debates. Mr. Romney has the business experience that gives him better understanding of the needs of real job creators.

The Tennessean frets that awful Paul Ryan fellow might impose “austerity” upon us and “rip the social safety net,” but they’re hopeful “Romney, as president, would be a moderate influence, bringing both parties together on a debt-reduction plan that is firm but fair.”

They’ve got plenty of praise for Obama’s historic historic-ness, which is very historic and all, but conclude it’s time to get the wheels of history turning again:

Barack Obama was elected in 2008 with a call for hope and change. Perhaps the change he spoke of could only come with the help of Mitt Romney.

Gov. Romney: This endorsement was not an easy decision. You owe the American people more details about how you will keep taxes low, preserve social programs and build up the military, all while reducing the debt. You must be your own man, and not kowtow to special interests whose millions helped propel you to the Republican nomination.

Be the man who governed Massachusetts, and you’ll reunite America.

Tennessee is nobody’s idea of a swing state, but those have still got to be tough words for the Obama campaign to read.

Update: Add the Orlando Sentinel to Romney’s list of endorsements:

Economic growth, three years into the recovery, is anemic. Family incomes are down, poverty is up. Obama’s Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, highlighted these and other hard truths in this week’s second debate.

Even the September jobless numbers deserve an asterisk, because more than 4 million Americans have given up looking for work since January 2009.

And while the nation’s economy is still sputtering nearly four years after Obama took office, the federal government is more than $5 trillion deeper in debt. It just racked up its fourth straight 13-figure shortfall.

We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years. For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race.

Notably, they hit Obama for bringing the federal government close to a default, which will infuriate Democrats who have been furiously trying to spin that event as a result of Republican obstructionism.

And they’ve got no patience for Obama’s Medi-Scare tactics:

Two years ago, a bipartisan panel the president appointed recommended a 10-year, $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan. Rather than embrace it and sell it to the American people, Obama took his own, less ambitious plan to Congress, where it was largely ignored by both parties.

Now the president and his supporters are attacking Romney because his long-term budget blueprint calls for money-saving reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, three of the biggest drivers of deficit spending. Obama would be more credible in critiquing the proposal if he had a serious alternative for bringing entitlement spending under control. He doesn’t.

The Sentinel worries about Romney’s supposed “appeals to social conservatives and immigration extremists,” and his prospective “steep learning curve on foreign policy,” but applauds his “strong record of leadership,” including his business acumen.  They’re wiling to give him a term to see if he can get things done, instead of giving Obama four more years to prove he can’t.

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