Romney lands key endorsement in crucial swing state - Iowa
October 27th, 2012
08:36 PM ET
1 year ago

Romney lands key endorsement in crucial swing state - Iowa

(CNN) – The Des Moines Register, Iowa's largest newspaper, endorsed Mitt Romney for president Saturday, reversing its 2008 support for President Barack Obama and marking the first time the paper has endorsed a Republican in 40 years.

While the editorial praised both Romney and Obama, the decision ultimately came down to one question, the newspaper stated. "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."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

According to the announcement, the editorial board, which enthusiastically endorsed Romney ahead of the state's Republican presidential caucuses in January, had "a vigorous debate" over which candidate to choose for the November election.

While "Romney has made rebuilding the economy his No. 1 campaign priority," the paper stated, "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."

The editorial board said the country needed a "renewed sense of confidence" in the economy. "That should come with Mitt Romney in the White House."

With six electoral votes, the swing state is highly contentious territory in the tight presidential race. The president campaigned in the Hawkeye State on Wednesday, while Romney was also in the state Wednesday, as well as Friday.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released last week indicated the president was ahead of Romney by 8 points, 51% to 43%, while a separate American Research Group survey released days earlier showed the two candidates tied at 48%.

Obama frequently points to Iowa as the state that launched him on the path to winning the Democratic nomination in 2008. During the state's caucuses, the then-Illinois senator captured a surprising victory over then-Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards.

Saturday's editorial stated that Romney's record as Massachusetts governor proved he could work across the aisle and would be more likely to bridge Congress and the White House than Obama would in a second term.

It continued: "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."

Earlier this week, the paper blasted the Obama campaign after the president sat down with the editorial board for an interview Tuesday but refused to go on the record.

The newspaper's editor, Rick Green, wrote in a blog post that Obama's team should have granted the paper an on-the-record interview, as Romney did earlier in the month, saying the president's remarks in the private conversation would have helped undecided Iowa voters make up their minds.

"What the President shared with us this morning - and the manner, depth and quality of his presentation - would have been well-received by not only his base, but also undecideds. From a voter standpoint, keeping it off-the-record was a disservice," Green wrote.

Green added that, despite their frustration with the Obama campaign, the dust-up would not have an effect on their endorsement decision.

The following day, the campaign released the transcript to the Des Moines Register, which then posted the interview online. In the interview, Obama said he is confident his administration will pass immigration reform next year and achieve the equivalent of a grand bargain with Congress.

The Des Moines Register endorsed Obama in 2008 and Sen. John Kerry in 2004. The last time it backed a Republican was in 1972 with its support for Richard Nixon.


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. tangledthorns

    Wow, did not expect this endorsement for Mitt from the Des Moines Register. Especially since they hadn't endorsed a Democrat for president since 1976.

    October 27, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. jinx88

    So, newspaper endorsements mean nothing. Mittens can have Iowa.

    October 27, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  3. plain&simple

    Here's the deal, congress,babies that they are, stomped their feet and said" we won't work with this president no matter what". So now the Iowa paper says let's give in to the spoiled babies and endorse Romney! Wow.....talk about rewarding bad behavior!!!!

    October 27, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. jinx88

    "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." Compromise with Congress? The same Congress with a 10% approval rating? Give me a break!!

    October 27, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. nvmature

    What the newspaper is actually saying is the Democrats are more likely to work with a Republican president (as in do what is best for the country) than then the Republicans (who only put party first) are to work with a Democratic president. And this is the newspaper's best rationale?

    October 27, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  6. Fact

    Ok?

    Spending by each President for budgets they actually wrote. passed and
    signed..

    Reagan 1982-85 increase of 8.7%
    Reagan 1985-89 increase of 4.9%
    GHWBush 1990-93 increase of 5.4%
    Clinton 1994-97 increase of 3.2%
    Clinton 1998-01 increase of 3.9%
    GWBush 2002-05 increase of 7.3%
    GWBush 2006-09 increase of 8.1%
    Obama 2010-13 increase of 1.4%

    Is the Des Moines Register under new ownership?

    October 27, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  7. katiec

    wow, how sad. The newspaper is not speaking for the middle class, women, the needy, senior citizens, veterans,, minorities, etc. But, they are big business.
    The American voters will not survive a third term of bush/republican plans and policies.

    October 27, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  8. Christopher

    The circulation of newspapers that endorsed Romney = 7.8 million

    The circulation of newspapers that endorsed Obama = 12.8 million

    Also, consider the fact that newspaper endorsements do little to sway voters. They only make a good campaign talking point.

    October 27, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    Even some of the normally Liberal media is getting turned off by the administration nasty, vile character assassination ads. And it could be that the voters are letting the media know how they feel.

    October 27, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  10. Bart Flaster

    Forty seven percent.

    October 27, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  11. Off the record

    I guess the editors must have been really upset to honor the agreement to keep the interview with The President off the record.

    October 27, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  12. Chris Garcia

    Thank you for the endorsement we all need to see what real experience and leadership can do for America.
    If Obama wins a Second Term He may still have the training Wheels on for another four more years...

    October 27, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  13. REDFIRESTORM

    First impressions last the longest - first debate - obama acting unethical with the des moines editorial board - wanted to keep his comments unpublished at first - des moines to obama: "c'est la vie - casse toi alors, pauvre con" LMFAO

    October 27, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  14. Bob

    So basically, the GOP's Taliban strategy of sabotaging any and all Democratic policy initiatives simply because they come from Democrats has succeeded, at least when it comes to the Des Moines Register. Romney and the Republicans are terrorists with a car bomb, and if we don't do what they say, they threaten to pull the trigger. The Register says we ought to give in to these GOP terrorists. Talk about Un-American.

    October 27, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  15. Kung

    Even liberals know Obama hasn't created an economic recovery. Romney's a business turnaround guy. That makes him the right medicine for the illness.

    October 27, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  16. Pete

    They were laying out for the president ,I just hope they don't need help in the following years and go bankrupt,typical republican trash paper!!Ours dogs train on paper better then theirs..

    October 27, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  17. The New York Times stated...

    The New York Times gave several good and credible reasons why they chose to support President Obama.

    October 27, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  18. Kay

    The Detroit News is also endorsing Romney! Yay!

    October 27, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  19. IndeePendant

    DesMOines Register is a dying newspaper just as other newspapers in the country. They must have been promised by Romney backers in Wall St with some fresh funding.

    October 27, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  20. liony

    Nov. 7 Romney in landslide win, Obama concede defeat!

    October 27, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  21. gm

    great point. I rather see a moderate New England GOP than a liberal Chicago Democrat

    October 27, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  22. Dr. Disaster

    Wrong choice guys. The editorial board had better taken a look at Romney's Massachusetts economy records which is a testament of Mitt's political policies. As a businessman Mitt may have done fine but as a man of state he has failed the people, badly.

    October 27, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. Marno

    The premise of Gov. Romney being able to break partisan gridlock is absolutely without merit. Exactly how willing does the Des Moines Register – or anyone for that matter, think the (likely) Democrat-led Senate is going to be to work with a President Romney when "on day one" he wants to repeal their signature piece of legislation, the ACA? Personally, I'd say about slim to none. Make no mistake: what comes around, goes around. The Dems would make it their sole goal in life to turn Romney into a 1-termer too.

    October 27, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  24. S Tivis

    I am so thankful that your great newspaper made the decision to endorse Mr. Romney. I do not live in Iowa but do know how important each and every one of these big newspaper endorsements are and how far they go in helping the candidate get elected. We have enjoyed Iowa many times while driving through on the way to visit our children and look forward to smiling and waiving a great big "Thank You" as we drive through, stop and shop, on our next visit. All Americans can be proud of Mr. Romney and the job he will do when he becomes our next President!

    October 27, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  25. Zig

    Well of course! Iowa is a huge agri-welfare state, and though those farmers have done very well under the sitting President, those folks do not want to make a fair contribution to the Country. They just want the government tit to continue.

    October 27, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
1 2 3 4