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."

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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. Nancy

    Well, it was a bad idea to endorse Nixon in 1972 and it's a bad idea to endorse Romney in 2012. What they're saying is we should reward all the obstruction from the Republicans in Congress by voting for another Republican. Makes no sense to me. I say vote a straight Democratic ticket!

    October 27, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. James Briggs

    You have got to be kidding me! You are rewarding the republican congress scorched earth policy of not working with the president, by saying that Romney (who has no problem lying about every position he or his opponent has taken) could work better with the opposition! You obviously (like most americans) have learned nothing from history.
    Second terms of most presidents usually turn out better than first terms. Obama has things started in the right direction only to have someone else come in and take the credit for the recovery (or stymie it)!

    October 27, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. Zabazoom

    So the Paper figures it would get better returns from the press than the truth

    October 27, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. Reggie from LA

    That's great rationale for choosing Romney. But suppose there's a Democratic majority that he can't bully. He would definitely be a bully from his presidential bully pulpit, but maybe it wouldn't be so easy to "forge the compromises in Congress". Any sensible Congress of either party would hopefully have the presence of mind from lessons learned from the governance Romney wants to return to. Then the Register would have wasted its bought and paid for endorsement. Their not fooling anyone with that nonsense. Well actually, fooling many.

    October 27, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    OK all you Mittens supporters, see if you remember this from the 2004 presidential race:

    John Kerry, a decorated Viet Nam veteran who could have gotten a college deferment but instead chose to fight for his country, was lambasted to no end by the Bush campaign and the Republicans for being a "flip-flopper" because he said regarding the Iraq war he was for it before he was against it.

    Fast forward 8 years and here is Mittens, flip-flopping his way through the primaries and the general election, on issues like abortion, his budget, whether or not he's a conservative, etc., etc., etc. The ONLY thing he's been resolute about is his refusal to release his tax returns for the last 10 years so we can see how he uses the system that's gamed in his favor.

    Mittens has no integrity, no character, no spine, no core. None, nada, zip.

    October 27, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. SKS

    I Live in Des Moines, Iowa. I don't agree with the view that the Des Moines Register says that Mitt Romney will lead to compromise in the Congress. IT IS A LIE. Obama has done his best to compromise at the Congress but it is the Republicans who have REFUSED to give in, not even an inch to compromise. I will never ever pay a penny to buy the Des Moines Register. Heck, I can read the free copies at the Library though. What a BLATANT LIE by the Des Moines Register. It is also a monetary strategy to save this Newspaper Business by appealing to Romney supporters who might be subscribers to this paper. It is really really pathetic and Dishonest by the Des Moines Register.

    October 27, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  7. Truthseeker

    Too bad the newspaper is not in sync with the majority of its (smarter) electorate.

    Obama/BIden 2012

    October 27, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  8. golds

    The Des Moines Register has the right of it: Obama's has a distinct record of not reaching across the aisle, and of weak leadership in Congress. Also, business (large and small) is a lot more optimistic about a Romney presidency. It is hard to see Obama achieving more than a crawling forward economy. 2% GDP is nothing to shout about, despite democratic excitement. Reagan had 7% GDP with his policies.

    October 27, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  9. Lagi Faimalo

    Grrreeaattt Choice!! I commend the Des Moines Register for being brave and choosing Romney!! I trust him because of his record and his background. He is what America desperately needs to gets things turn around. He's honest, true to his country, he's smart, and will work hard to do what's right for America and our people. It's about time!

    October 27, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. DocHollywood

    So Romney is more likely to be able to work across the aisle? Really? Even if the democrats, to a man, refuse to work at all with Romney like the republicans did with Obama? Is there some magic dust in Romney's pocket? Get real. John Kennedy couldn't have worked with these republican jokers in the house and senate. When they're meeting the day of the inaugeration to plan how to defeat Obama, how in the world was he ever going to get them to cooperate?

    October 27, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  11. marie99

    Why isn't CNN covering the story of Navy Seal Wood asking not once not twice but 3 times for help the nite of the attack.Why isn't CNN questioning who told the CIA not to go in and assist those 4 Americans? Why is CNN giving Obama a free ride on this story? Would the CNN reporters feel differently if it were their son, husband, father of brother being slaughered by terrorist and our government said, sorry you are on your own. We have a political campaign going on right now and this does not fit in with our plans."? America deserves better from her government, Americans deserve better from Obama. Wake up CNN and start reporting the good, the bad and the ugly as it is not as you want people to think it is.

    October 27, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  12. ?

    They really got this one wrong.

    October 27, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Newspaper endorsements don't mean squat for either candidate, the internet has taken their subscriptions away. The internet gives people instant news, the newspaper gives people yesterday's news.

    October 27, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  14. jmm

    9 days until Obama will be defeated and the Country can begin a recovery from the past 4 years. Nov. 6 cannot come soon enough. Iowa along with Ohio will support Romney. Get out the vote Romney!

    October 27, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. Lew

    The rats are jumping ship.

    One and done!

    October 27, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  16. marx

    Mitt Romney will not and can not work across the isle as claimed.He never did as governor.As governor he only flowed with the wind.If this election produces a Republican senate with a majority congressional Republicans then which isle are you guys talking about? Mitt Romney is a flip flopper who if elected would be implimenting the extreme Neo-Republican agenda.

    October 27, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  17. MichiganMan33

    I agree with the Register's editorial. Romney has a much better chance of getting Congress to work together to pass laws that will promote economic growth in the Unites States. The Obama administration has forgotten that we are the UNITED States. United we'll stand; divided we'll fall. Mitt Romney will bring us back together and get America working again.

    October 27, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  18. joe

    what compromise it will be a one sided adgenda and the down fall of they country, Vote all republicans out Forward.

    October 27, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  19. Iowaman

    "Key endorsement"? Do you really think that anyone is going to vote or, more importantly, switch his or her vote because of the endorsement of this newspaper? That's not a rhetorical question. No one in Iowa cares about this newspaper or its endorsement. This is just beyond silly.

    October 27, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  20. pwr65

    CNN – nothing-zero about Benghazi cover up..nothing?

    October 27, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  21. carlos

    equal or less than the meatloaf endorsement........no news here...

    October 27, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  22. JG-Texas

    The last time they picked a Republican was Nixon, says a lot. No specifics in this endorsement either typical of a Romney pick.

    October 27, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  23. Rusty

    I'm doing the same thing! I voted for Obama in 08 and I have decided to vote Romney in 12.

    October 27, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  24. jimmie chew

    left of center pubs now see the inevitability

    October 28, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  25. Larry L

    Since Republicans are the party blocking all progress and trying to create failure for political gain one might assume Romney could get them to compromise. However, the Democrats have seen the political gains to be made from obstructionism in the 2010 mid-term election. Does anybody believe the Democrats could see Romney win, a win fueled by placing blame on the President for the recession started by Republicans, without responding in a similar fashion? Wouldn't the Democrats filibuster every initiative in the Senate – just like the Republicans have done? The solution to Congressional gridlock isn't to elect a representative from the political party responsible for the problem. That's paying ransom to the kidnappers! Don't reward Romney because the Republicans held America hostage while the President cleaned up Bush's mess.

    October 28, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
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