The Des Moines Register, which hasn’t endorsed a Republican in four decades, has thrown its support behind GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, saying that his success in the public and private sectors makes him the stronger candidate to help the nation's economy recover.
The newspaper posted the endorsement on its website Saturday evening with the headline: “Mitt Romney offers a fresh economic vision” — the first time it has endorsed a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972.
Having backed President Barack Obama in 2008, the publication said that Obama's efforts to rebuild the economy "have fallen short." It also criticized Obama for contributing to Washington's "partisan divide."
“American voters are deeply divided about this race,” the paper explained. “The Register’s editorial board, as it should, had a vigorous debate over this endorsement. Our discussion repeatedly circled back to the nation’s single most important challenge: pulling the economy out of the doldrums, getting more Americans back in the workforce in meaningful jobs with promising futures, and getting the federal government on a track to balance the budget in a bipartisan manner that the country demands.”
The Register said that Romney would help consumers feel "more confident" about spending money, which would bring about "renewed investment” by companies.
“The former governor and business executive has a strong record of achievement in both the private and the public sectors,” according to the publication. “He was an accomplished governor in a liberal state. He founded and ran a successful business that turned around failing companies. He successfully managed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
“Romney has made rebuilding the economy his No. 1 campaign priority — and rightly so.”
The paper said that Romney should focus on building consensus instead of "wasting time on issues that animate many in his party," and noted that Romney is more likely to be able to forge compromises with Congress to achieve his goals.
“When the question is framed in those terms, Mitt Romney emerges the stronger candidate,” the endorsement states.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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