The Des Moines Register has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, marking the first time the Iowa paper has endorsed a conservative candidate since they endorsed Richard Nixon in 1972.
The Register, the largest paper in Iowa, endorsed Obama in 2008, citing the economic policy the candidate put forth in the final months of his campaign. This time, however, the paper offers a less approving view of his economic plans.
“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 president’s prescription upon entering office was a dose of government stimulus, which was the right call because it put cash in the pockets of consumers, made investments in vital infrastructure and kept millions of teachers and police officers on the job.
That stimulus was necessary to bridge the nation from recession to recovery, but the time is past for more government stimulus.
Consumers must feel more confident about their own economic futures to begin spending on the products and services that power the economy. A renewed sense of confidence will spark renewed investment by American companies. Industry will return to full production and hiring will begin again.
That should come with Mitt Romney in the White House.”
The endorsement follows controversy between the White House and the paper, where the White House only made Obama available to the paper for conversation if they would keep everything off the record. The move pushed the editor to publish a scathing blog post, and the White House released a transcript of the conversation as a result.
As the LA Times points out, this endorsement could be an indication that the largely frugal state (it has the lowest per capita credit card debt in the nation) is responding well to Romney’s focus on the national debt.
According to Real Clear Politics’ average, Obama is currently up in the swing state by 2.3 percent, though the paper may influence the direction of the race in the state and it is a highly sought after endorsement leading into the election. The paper is widely credited with launching Obama’s campaign forward in the final months of the 2008 campaign, and Obama won the state handily in the general election.