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. Vanessa

    Correct the Nation's course..... by cutting education, giving the rich at a min $260,000 tax cut... After Romney admitted he didn't care about the poor or the 47%.... The middle class, elderly and veterans make up that 47%... WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

    October 28, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  2. Sunie

    I don't believe Des-Moines Registry's reasoning. Why not vote Congress out versus President Obama?

    October 28, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  3. Woman In California

    I still support the president.

    October 28, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  4. Name zeusubani

    Super disappointed.

    October 28, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  5. Teacher's Pet

    What the heck is wrong with the Des Moines Register? Did someone from Utah buy it?

    October 28, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  6. LBLA

    Obama is all talk and no results. The most divisive President in United Stated history long gave up his promise tho bridge differences between the two parties. Now he can try to change washington from the outside, since by his own words he can't do it from the inside.

    October 28, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    The last time they supported a Republican was big time a mistake ( Nixon) and while its a mistake this time its not one the voters will follow per most of the polls average or the last Marist poll.
    I find thier reason and logic indefensible... the gridlock will continue as the house majority may shrink for Republicans, and the current status of senate elections gives virtually zero likelihood of a Republican majority. All it needs is democrats if they lose ( presidentially) to follow the same rules as Republicans put on Obama show us how its paid for or we have an alternate plan. Romney cannot carry the teaparty guys with more centrist solutions. Boehner and Mc Connel lost that attempt already.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    October 28, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  8. LizardLance

    I know the Tea Party and other conservative zealots love to claim the media are "left wing liberals." Of course there is no truth to what their complaint, but who needs the truth when we're talking politics? The corporate owners of our daily newspapers have done much to make a mockery of journalism. I find it odd that a newspaper editorial board would endorse Romney's economic plan when he has yet to share what the economic plan is. Voodoo economics?

    October 28, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  9. Sunie

    I find it interesting that President Obama is being blamed for 8-10 years of recession building by Republicans! Mitch McConnel is on Youtube stating that Republicans number 1 goal is to make sure the President is a 1 term President. This is why his jobs bill has been awaiting passage since September 2011, his veteran's bill was voted against, and so forth. You are implying that the President is not working with Republicans. He has Republicans on his staff and so does Hillary Clinton. Have you reviewed the number of Republican filibusters against the President's proposals to put the economy on track. Republicans have proven they don't care about the economy or struggling Americans by blocking the President's attempts to create jobs and so forth. They repealed his Affordable Health Care Plan 31 times at the cost of taxpayers. Republicans don't want to work with the President. Furthermore, in reference to job creation, Romney left the state of Mass. with a job approval rating of 37%, and ranked 47th in the United States for job creation. His job creation is outsourcing U.S. jobs to China and much more. Have you ever requested specifics on all that he claims he'll do as President? Sorry, you do not fool me. I know there is an underlying issue as to why you (Des-Moines Register) endorsed Mitt. We all will suffer if Romney wins the Presidency. See at the soup kitchen and homeless shelter.

    October 28, 2012 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  10. poopyonastickmakesmesick

    You guys forgot to mention what else is in the interview Obama gave..that he doesn't regret not focusing on the economy the first 2 years of office.

    October 28, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  11. Dan

    I have a feeling that the editorial board that made this endorsement is not the same that made the 2008 endorsement.

    October 28, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  12. Michael

    Even the choir is looking to sing elsewhere...you had your chance Mr. President. You failed.

    October 28, 2012 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  13. Chimp

    Unlike business, you can't lay off the people who are "under-performing" in the population. Business and government are nothing alike.

    Romney has experience dismantling companies...is that the plan for the country?

    October 28, 2012 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  14. Janine

    Can't wait to hear how Romney changes again.

    October 28, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  15. Aussie mate

    As an expat, it has been disheartening to see the polarization of America. There is so much hatred and disrespect for people of other viewpoints. This has worsened over the last 4 years. America needs to start over. Whoever ends up winning, please America respect them, even if President Obama wins again.

    October 28, 2012 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  16. Diana Bard

    Jack Cafferty's comments on the Benghazi cover up should be front page news, not buried somewhere where most people won't find it. I live in Australia, and I know what is going on. Surlely the U.S. public should know also, particularly before they get to vote in 10 days time! Do your job!!

    October 28, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  17. Thomas

    How soon some people forget !

    Romney = GW Bush

    October 28, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  18. Lando

    Newspapers are irrelevant nowadays, who reads them.....they were just thrown in the garbage...

    October 28, 2012 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  19. Vampnet

    Only because the republicans in the house and senate during Obama's tenure, has done everything they could to stop every passage put to them by the Democrats. I don't see that any Republican party that can do anything to help the American people. in fact, the opposite has been played out. Mittens and Company do not have a plan for the American people, except, overturning Roe vs Wade, gifting the top 2%, taking away from early childhood schooling.. taking away from the women, elderly poor, and middle class.. they have been really good at lying, deceiving and forgetting.. flip-flopping.. their plan.. basically screwing over the American citizens.. not a damn thing I want to be a part of.

    October 28, 2012 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  20. Wilbur

    Finally somebody in the liberal media gets it.

    October 28, 2012 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  21. tj

    It's not all about who can narrow path and work with congress. Republicans have said it from day one, they will make Obama a one term president. What Bush couldn't do for 8years, Obama achieve in less than 4years. Republicans blocked the way because at the long run, the people always blame the president. This leaders should be shame of themselves. Other countries are watching what's going on. Being a racist in the 21st century is a mental disorder.

    October 28, 2012 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  22. Joseph B

    I would like to see the Des Moines Registar explain how Romney will pay for $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion increased defence spending. Of course they can't because Romney himself can't explain this because Romney doesn't stand for anything and democrats aren't going to compromise with right wing extremism like his VP candidate Paul Ryan.

    October 28, 2012 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  23. Vampnet

    I would like to add.. if the Republicans in the house and senate would have worked with the Democrats, more job growth would have been offered to the American people, and that includes shoring up some of our infrastructures, new bridges, roadways, transmission lines. People forget, what happened last week, month or year.. people forget how many gaffs this mittens guy has let fall out of his mouth.. how many terrible wrongs will this man make, and who.. who will hold him responsible.. If this nut case is elected, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    Obama took on a world full of problems, left over from the Bush era. Mittens is the same type, represents the same type of politics as the Bush era. You folks in Iowa, I would imagine your good people. Obama still represents hope and change. Change takes time. The issues from several decades can not be over turned in one 4 year term. With a bit of luck, and a bit of help from the Republican side of the isle, just maybe America can be great once again.

    October 28, 2012 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  24. khunya

    It's about time thqt the Iowa wakes up and smells the roses. Romney has the proven record as the governor of MA state. Obama has as well but a disaster and failure records during past 4 years.

    October 28, 2012 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  25. Richard Chichi

    Any republican governor or president can work with a domocratic majority legislature. So give us a break about Romney at Masachusets. Just tell me on which occasions have we had near closures of government? When repubs have been in charge of congress right?

    October 28, 2012 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
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