Detroit Free Press endorses Romney
February 23rd, 2012
10:45 AM ET
11 years ago

Detroit Free Press endorses Romney

(CNN) - The Detroit Free Press threw its support behind Mitt Romney on Thursday, marking the candidate's second endorsement from a Michigan newspaper in as many days.

While the article praised Romney as the most qualified candidate with an impressive record, the editorial board did not hold back in criticizing the Michigan native over the way he has run his campaign.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

With less than a week before Michigan voters head to the polls for Tuesday's primary, the article came one day after a Detroit News editorial supported Romney, who won the primary in 2008 and whose father once governed the state.

The Free Press argued Romney has morphed into a faux far-right conservative over the last year in an attempt to compete with "stauncher conservatives of lesser achievement and stature" in the race.

"He is chest-beating and straining to prove his ideological bona fides (recently, he called himself 'severely' conservative), rather than focusing on the nuanced, sophisticated strength of his record," the editorial read Thursday.

Referring to Rick Santorum as "zealous," Newt Gingrich as "impulsive," and Ron Paul as "backward-thinking," the paper said Romney will "need to stop mimicking his GOP rivals' simplicity" if he wants to secure the Republican nomination.

The editorial also hit Romney over his 2008 opposition to the so-called auto bailout, widely credited with saving the auto industry.

Romney has repeatedly defended his position and still stands by it, arguing that auto companies needed to go through "managed bankruptcy" in order to shed excess costs.

But the paper seemed to give the candidate a pass on the issue, describing his position as "a sign of questionable leadership qualities not otherwise associated with Romney" and added "he has been better than that before."

Mostly, the article called on Romney to tone down his "severely conservative" rhetoric and return to "the more reasoned leader he used to be."

"Romney is the best bet Republicans have, but the others would do both him and the nation a favor by raising the level of debate, broadening the discussion and focusing on honest solutions for, rather than ideological ranting about, the nation's problems," the paper said.

Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Mitt Romney
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Alger Dave

    Gotta love this. The establishment will endorse Romney all day long, even though he can't communicate with anyone outside of his upper class billionaire set and is firmly entrenched in the pockets of Wall Street. Do we really think a guy like this can win in November? Come November, when unemployment is still going down (and probably around 7% and falling), homes are worth more (and going up) and the leaves on the trees are beautiful, who's going to need a 'fixer' like Romney? The answer is no one. He's a one-issue candidate who's issue just passed him by. This is why Santorum is gaining across the nation (at least one reason). We don't need a CEO in November, we need a multi-dimensional candidate who can differentiate himself from Obama, and who can excite the Republican base. Who's doing that now? Santorum.

    February 23, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Tea Party Dem

    ugh, another Dole, another McShame.

    February 23, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |

    How much $$$ is Willard dishing out for these endorsements?

    February 23, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Bet someone held their nose typing that one up! Bet they'll be endorsing President Obama, though.

    February 23, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. Nothing new here

    I like the way Ron Paul called Santorum a "fake" to his face last night.
    Almost feel out of my chair laughing!!!! And the look on Santorum's face was priceless!
    However, I think Romney is the most tolerable, and electable, out of the 3 Stooges.
    It is ashame that the GOP cannot leave the "old time religion" alone long enough to endorse Ron Paul, or at least another reasonable candidate.

    February 23, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Outside of churches, should all religious institutions be exempt from all national laws? No minimum wage, no health care, hospitals without certified personnel, medical supplies that do not have to be safe?

    February 23, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    After Santorum admitted he voted for increases to Social Security because all his rich old people were moving to Florida and Arizona, Romney is looking more like the candidate least likely to shoot himself in the foot.

    Santorum admits that the only reason he cares about average to low income seniors is because the ones he really loves are gone. And he is using a small increase in benefits to buy a few votes from those left. Way to go Saint Orem.

    February 23, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    The GOP is not interested a nuanced approach to anything, and Romney is just adapting himself to the ideological terrain he has found himself in. The problem is, he sticks out like a camel on a glacier: he simply does not belong with people who rant, but the ranters excite the base even as they are driving independents away in droves. Romney is hemmed in by things beyond his control, like an improving economy and a base that increasingly lives in an alternate reality.

    February 23, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. king

    i guest they werent rooting for the detroit to be bailed out by the government when romney said no. hey romney said let the banks bail them out, while the banks was also begging the government for bailout durning the financial crash. mitten will find a way to spin a square wheel down the street of manhatten if you give him a chance, but only the gullible and the well payed off will beleive and repeat the cakameme crap that he spill from his mouth on a daily basis. i know their are intelligent folks no matter what their affiliations will see right through this dude. at least i hope!!!!

    February 23, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Sorensen

    So those press idiots also agree that they should have let GM go bust!!

    February 23, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Woman In California

    Who REALLY cares?

    Dis anyone else besides me notice Willard last night? Everytime he said something – he immediately looked to the audience to see if they would clap or back him up. That won't happen should he make it to a debate with our president. For every one person supporting Willard there wil be 10 supporting our president. What a cold, lying, self centered coward he is.

    February 23, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Dave

    I dont know how this guy got tens of miillions from the US to Bains pockets. He is the most Washington insider there is while pretending to be the opposite. Your typical mover & shaker Lobbyist & very , very good at stealing our money to give to the Companies he runs. He is SEVERLY a for the rich & the hell with the middle class & poor. If 60 minutes did a story on this fake, & exposed the real Mitt, There would not be a snowballs chance in hell he would suceed!!!!

    February 23, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Let me try it this way : Suppose a church decided to go into the automobile business and make cars. Because of separation of state, would they have to pay a minimum wage, follow pesky government safety regulations, or follow mpg guidelines?

    February 23, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Dave

    When asked a simple answer on his most misconcetion on himself, This no backbone coward could not even answer it to possibly atack his critics. Im tellin ya, He is so plastic even his own party is petrified of him.

    February 23, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens, the astute businesman, has spent $37 million in campaign ads since January and has take in $13 million in donations. Will he file for bankruptcy and ship his campaign workers jobs overseas, or will he ask for a government bailout?

    February 23, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    No the press did not agree with Romney about letting GM go bust. They just went easy on him on this issue.

    The editorial also hit Romney over his 2008 opposition to the so-called auto bailout, widely credited with saving the auto industry.

    February 23, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Mikey

    So they're endorsing him because his stated faux conservative views are not his real views? They are endorsing him BECAUSE he's a two-faced lying chameleon?

    February 23, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Woman in California I would actually up that ratio to 30:1 in favor of our prez. I saw part of the debates last night, and suddenly remembered that I had to bed. More of the same. They've shown their true colors; there are no more crayons to be pulled out of the box. November simply cannot get here fast enough.
    Obama 2012.

    February 23, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I like the not-so-subtle way the Free Press called the other candidates simpletons, or simple-minded by urging their boy Mittens not to embrace their "simplicity". Probably the most truthful item in that endorsement.
    I'm so weary of this debacle.
    Obama 2012.

    February 23, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wire Palladin, S.F.
    I love, absolutely love your succint, pugnacious, irreverent, and right on target posts.
    Thank you so much!

    February 23, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. george of the jungle

    Paul is working in tandum with romney to move his son into position for a vice president spot with romney. Did you watch how they worked last night. Rick can't debate his way out of a paper bag and Newt still talks down to the audience like he is a professor. Romney watches for applause. None are worth the time the networks are giving them. But the audience finds them entertaining.

    February 23, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    You know, I've been thinking. Mitt Romney has shown that down to earth communication is not his strong point. "Trees are the right height." "Seriously conservative" "Bet you ten thousand" There's more. So, if Romney has troube communicating without sounding like he's lived a sheltered life, what happens should he win and become POTUS?

    See, what I am thinking is that someone is going to be doing some exhaustive speech writing, putting words into his mouth for him to recite on queue. Just like they did with George W. Bush, although I will give Romney credit for coming across a bit more intelligent than GWB. But, Romney is going to have an establishment behind me pulling the strings. Probably the same people who pulled the strings for GWB. Probably the same establishment people who want him to win. Romney would be in their debt, of a sort.

    February 23, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |