And those that did re-endorse Pres. Obama did so with less enthusiam, e.g.:
“Four years ago, this newspaper's editorial board enthusiastically endorsed Barack Obama... Today, we recommend President Obama's re-election... And yet our endorsement this year comes with less enthusiasm or optimism...
“This litany of missed opportunities, as much as the grim economic statistics that have become America's unacceptable new normal, left us sorely tempted to endorse Gov. Romney this fall.”
“Four years ago, as America faced serious trouble at home and abroad, this news organization embraced the need for bold change to a different brand of leadership and endorsed Barack Obama for president.”
— “We took a chance on President Barack Obama despite a number of red flags. For example, he promised to bankrupt coal-fired power plants while on the campaign trail. That’s probably why West Virginia overwhelming voted in support of fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton over Obama during the May 2008 primary, and then Republican John McCain in November 2008 — despite the fact that the number of registered Democrats in West Virginia still far outnumber those who are registered Republicans.”
"Romney is an intelligent, articulate, and accomplished former businessman and governor. At a time when voters yearn for competence and have soured on Washington because too often the Bush administration has not demonstrated it, Romney offers proven executive skill. He has demonstrated it in everything he has done in his professional life, and his tightly organized, disciplined campaign is no exception. He himself has shown impressive focus and energy.
"It is true that he has less foreign-policy experience than Thompson and (especially) McCain, but he has more executive experience than both. Since almost all of the candidates have the same foreign-policy principles, what matters most is which candidate has the skills to execute that vision. . .
"His conservative accomplishments as governor showed that he can work with, and resist, a Democratic legislature. He knows that not every feature of the health-care plan he enacted in Massachusetts should be replicated nationally, but he can also speak with more authority than any of the other Republican candidates about this pressing issue. . .
"In 1994, when he tried to unseat Ted Kennedy, he ran against higher taxes and government-run health care, and for school choice, a balanced budget amendment, welfare reform, and ''tougher measures to stop illegal immigration.'' He was no Rockefeller Republican even then.
"We believe that Romney is a natural ally of social conservatives. He speaks often about the toll of fatherlessness in this country. He may not have thought deeply about the political dimensions of social issues until, as governor, he was confronted with the cutting edge of social liberalism. No other Republican governor had to deal with both human cloning and court-imposed same-sex marriage. He was on the right side of both issues, . . ."
"The Washington Examiner believes Romney can defeat Obama, but Gingrich cannot. And Romney the businessman is far better suited to the nation's highest office -- by temperament, experience, and cast of mind -- than Gingrich the consummate Washington insider. By fits and starts over the years, Romney has become the reliable conservative that America so badly needs at this crucial moment in her history...
"In a race against Obama, we believe Romney will make a compelling case that he would be a strong and successful president. Here are three reasons why:
"» First, when Romney sat down with this newspaper's editorial board, it became clear that he has thought long and carefully about what he would do as president and how he would do it from Day One. Just as Reagan lost in 1976, then spent the next four years methodically preparing to try again and for the day he would become president, Romney has spent the last four years thinking carefully about how he would be president... Romney will on his first day in office send to Congress five major initiatives designed to boost job creation, and he will sign a series of executive orders designed to get government's boot off the economy's neck.
"» Second, our economy is broken. Based on his long years of experience creating thousands of jobs here in the private sector, Romney knows how to fix the economy. As he says every day on the campaign trail, "government doesn't create jobs, the private sector does." To that end, he promises to cut individual and corporate taxes, reform the tax code to encourage growth and investment, and expand free trade. He pledges to slash unnecessary federal regulation and unleash America's vast energy resources to create jobs and free us from dependence on nations that are hostile to our country. He will, in short, follow in Reagan's footsteps to get America working again.
"» Third, and perhaps most important, Romney will bring back to the Oval Office a faith in the ability of every individual to achieve his or her greatest hopes, and an unwavering pride in America and its limitless potential for greatness. He understands the American dream because his family has lived it. His father, George Romney, rose from humble roots to run a Detroit auto company and win election as governor of Michigan before running for the presidency...
"Romney has the misfortune of being an earnest man running in an ironic time, ... Mitt Romney is not "too perfect," as some political analysts have argued, but he is perfect enough."
"America first: The United States — its people's sense of normalcy and, more gravely, their future prosperity — is in danger. Our national debt, trudging toward $16 trillion, exceeds the size of our economy. We owe more than we produce. And we are borrowing an additional $3 million every minute. As in the insolvent state of Illinois, debt repayment to lenders such as China increasingly crowds out spending on other priorities. Today's Washington isn't oblivious. Just useless.
"Before we talk politics, consider: Entitlement costs and other "payments to individuals" now consume two-thirds of our federal budget. And with only a relative few baby boomers already 65, spending on retirees will explode. This lethal pathology — neither Medicare nor Social Security can survive as is — threatens the career incomes of our children and grandchildren. They will spend their work lives as indentured servants to their elders.
"Who might engineer a fix? Only one of the four Republicans still in this primary race has the personal skill set, the painfully won experience, to appreciate this peril and to guide Americans through their own financial rescue...
"While three of the Republican candidates were giving speeches and casting votes in Congress, one of these four was managing, and sometimes salvaging, large enterprises in the public and private sectors. One of these four was forced to make costly organizations live, however unpleasantly, within their means. One of these four was learning what it is to live with the often good, sometimes bad, consequences of his executive decisions.
"For his demonstrated abilities and the economic pragmatism at his core, the Tribune endorses former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts as the Republicans' best, most responsible choice in Tuesday's Illinois primary..."
“Michigan Republicans will finally have their say about which of the four candidates still in the race for the GOP Presidential nomination would be the best choice to face President Barack Obama in November.
“Of the four candidates -- Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul -- we believe Romney is far and away the best candidate, and not just because he is a hometown favorite.
“While there is no denying that Romney grew up and went to school only a few miles from The Oakland Press offices in Pontiac and also happens to come from one the state's leading political families, we also believe he has earned the votes of Michigan's Republicans...
“Long ago, he showed that he understands economics and has a talent for organization, which will stand him in good stead should he occupy the Oval Office...
“Romney, however, appears to have the experience and temperament required to serve in the nation’s very highest office.”
"Of the four remaining Republican candidates, one most closely aligns with our region’s principles and interests. And that candidate is Mitt Romney.
"Put aside for a moment that our state “is personal” for the Michigan-born Romney. And forget trying to find the “perfect” candidate. For reasons both practical and principled, Romney is the best choice of the Republican field.
"Romney’s leadership credentials — former governor of Massachusetts, Winter Olympics turnaround maestro and prominent businessman — stand apart from the other candidates. His free-market, entrepreneurial emphasis provides a legitimate ideological counterpoint to Obama..."
"Among Republicans on the ballot in Tuesday's presidential primary, two candidates would offer solid leadership, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. However, when it comes to Michigan's challenges and needs, the passion and knowledge of Mr. Romney tip the scales in his favor. During a visit with Press editors this week, Mr. Romney vowed, "I will not sleep until Michigan is strong and active and vibrant again." Because of that focus, MITT ROMNEY has our vote in the Republican presidential primary. We do so in the context of the current president, who has paid only cursory attention to the Detroit Three auto makers and Michigan's manufacturing woes....
"Mr. Romney first came to the national stage as the turnaround man for the scandal-plagued 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. His deft handling of the bribery mess and deficit is a case study in successful management. He served as governor of Massachusetts for one term, ending in 2006. There, he worked with the Legislature to enact a law that required every citizen of the state to have health insurance, and provided state aid for those who couldn't afford it. As president, he said he would push states to enact their own health care solutions. He would aggressively pursue alternative energy and energy efficiency. He supports merit pay for teachers and more educational choices for parents and children, ideas that deserve furtherance in Washington.
The next president will need to transcend the stunting polarities that bedevil Washington. As the Republican leader of a Democratic state, Mr. Romney had to reach across partisan boundaries. Mr. Romney's father, George Romney, served as governor of Michigan in the 1960s, a tie that strengthens his understanding of Michigan. He knows that this state's job losses and struggle to find a new economic footing are the "canary in the mine," as he rightly put it, for the nation as a whole."
“This endorsement should be a slam dunk for Mitt Romney.
“His record and history — his term as governor of Massachusetts, his rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, even his time as a venture capitalist and management consultant — make him far more qualified to represent the Republican Party in the 2012 presidential race than the other candidates.
“His personal background, as a native Detroiter and the youngest son of a successful and popular governor here, also makes him an obvious pick for Michigan’s largest news organization...
“To compete with stauncher conservatives of lesser achievement and stature, Romney has essentially played down to their level. 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.
“That’s a mistake he will need to correct if he becomes the GOP nominee and hopes to even compete with President Barack Obama in the fall. But Romney, unlike the zealous Rick Santorum, the impulsive Newt Gingrich and the backward-thinking Ron Paul, is preferable to the rest of the field.
“He is the only one who has the combination of résumé and bearing to occupy the Oval Office. The Free Press endorses MITT ROMNEY today for the 2012 Michigan Republican presidential primary — with the hope that he can soon re-embrace his long record of level-headed, steady leadership.
“Proven past leadership
“Romney’s chief qualifications for the presidency come from his leadership as governor of Massachusetts and as savior of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City...
“As governor, Romney was a Republican leader in one of the most liberal states but still managed to achieve major reforms with lasting impact. He did so by working with Democratic leaders and by focusing on problem-solving rather than point-scoring or being a polemicist.
“That was true with education, where Massachusetts adopted a sweeping reform effort under Romney. It focused not just on testing (something Romney strongly supports) and accountability for teachers and schools, but also on expanding full-day kindergarten, providing incentives for teachers whose students excel, and financial help for families trying to pay for college.
“Massachusetts is now considered one of the leading states both in education outcomes (highest test scores in the country on national tests) and standards...
“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.”
“Traveling up I-75 through northern Michigan toward the Mackinac Bridge, a sign for the DNR [Department of Natural Resources] Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center always catches my eye.
“In the 1960s, MacMullan was head of conservation and natural resources for Gov. George Romney. Called the "fiercest conservationist" ever to hold the post, MacMullan made the bold decision to stock salmon and launch the sport fishing industry in the Great Lakes, now a $4.5-billion enterprise that supports thousands of jobs. With MacMullan's help, Romney's successor, Gov. William Milliken, fought successfully for the Michigan Environmental Protection Act -- a model for national action.
“With visionaries like Romney, MacMullan and Milliken, Michigan has always been a conservation leader.
“Mitt Romney grew up in that tradition and has a firsthand appreciation of how important the Great Lakes are to Michigan's high quality of life. Romney knows that Michigan's ecology and economy depend on healthy Great Lakes and clean water that is safe for drinking, beaches that are safe for swimming, and fish that are safe for eating.
“As Michigan's economy struggles today, Mitt Romney understands that cleaning up the Great Lakes can be the key to unleashing a new era of growth and job creation.
“With Romney in the White House, we would see a strong commitment to making the health of the Great Lakes a national priority. He should work to consolidate the more than 140 different Great Lakes-related programs scattered across 10 federal departments under one agency whose chief reports directly to the president. Other key priorities include:
“• Preventing diversions: With lake levels approaching record lows, Michigan cannot afford to let the Great Lakes be diverted to thirsty states outside the basin. That's why Mitt Romney supports Great Lakes governors in their efforts to prohibit diversions, encourage conservation and enact sustainable water use standards. Romney believes that our governor must retain the right to veto diversions that threaten the Great Lakes.
“• Stopping invasive species: More than 180 invaders from around the world now call the Great Lakes home, wreaking havoc on natural systems. Since most invaders arrive in ballast tanks of ocean-going vessels, Romney supports adoption of tough standards to keep alien species from getting in to hurt the lakes, while allowing vital commerce to continue on the lakes.
“• Cleaning up toxic hotspots: From the Detroit River to Saginaw Bay to Torch Lake in the Upper Peninsula, there are 14 areas on the Great Lakes in Michigan where the legacy of pollution continues to threaten the health of people and wildlife. Romney believes the cleanup of these toxic hotspots has been far too slow, bogged down by bureaucracy, legal wrangling, endless planning and lack of resources. Romney will advocate a new approach that brings everyone to the table to develop new funding mechanisms, set clear lines of accountability, and agree to specific timelines for restoring the health of the Great Lakes...
“Mitt Romney is the only sure bet to restore, protect and sustain our Great Lakes.”
“State Republicans should go to the polls Tuesday with two missions: Pick a presidential candidate capable of leading this nation to prosperity and stability and choose a nominee who will give the GOP a fighting chance of defeating President Barack Obama this fall. On both counts, Mitt Romney is the best choice in the Michigan primary.
“On leadership, the Michigan native and former Massachusetts governor has the strongest resume of the four remaining Republican candidates. He has not only successfully run a state, but also has deep experience in turning around private companies. America today is the ultimate turnaround project.
“Romney has a refreshing free market vision for restoring the nation's prosperity. He sees a return to our entrepreneurial roots, freeing individuals to reach for their dreams, take risks and strive for gain with minimal government encumbrances.
“He would reverse the rush toward a government-controlled economy and allow the free marketplace to do what it has always done — pull the nation back to its feet.
“His focus on the campaign trail has been on job creation. That's an area where he has considerable credibility, having created thousands of jobs as a partner with the private equity firm Bain Capital. While at Bain, Romney helped revive failing companies, rescue businesses from bankruptcy and save jobs that would have otherwise been lost to mismanagement. Count Ann Arbor's booming Domino's Pizza chain as among Bain's most notable success stories...
“We disagree with Romney on a point vital to Michigan — his opposition to the bailout of the domestic automobile industry. Romney advocated for a more traditional bankruptcy process, while we believe the bridge loans provided by the federal government in the fall of 2008 were absolutely essential to the survival of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp. The issue isn't a differentiator in the GOP primary, since the entire field opposed the rescue effort.
“Right now, voters are mostly concerned with the economy. But troubling events in the Middle East could easily shift the focus of the election to national security. We are confident that Romney has the temperament, judgment and maturity to make a case for his presidential candidacy even if the election issues become more global...”
"The question is do Republicans want a fighting chance to win in November?
"If so, then the choice in the Republican presidential primary on Tuesday is obvious: Mitt Romney.
"While it is apparent that many Republicans remain lukewarm to the businessman and former Massachusetts governor, he is the party's only viable choice. He brings to the campaign a strong background in business and political experience that speaks to a needed ability to work across the aisle.
"That history of moderation should actually be one of his selling points, and we disagree with the Romney detractors who criticize the candidate for the work he has done with members of the Democratic Party, such as his efforts on healthcare reform in Massachusetts. We are bone tired, dead tired — tired, tired, tired — of political intransigence that seems to mark every discussion in Washington. As we look toward November, we will seek a candidate committed to finding solutions that involve compromise...
"Of course, Romney's Michigan roots as the son of former Gov. George Romney are an added plus for our state's Republicans. Indeed, Michigan will likely play an important role in the November general election and Romney's presence on the ballot could heighten the state's prominence by putting it in play even more as a swing state.
"In our view, Mitt Romney is the best choice, the most logical choice, for Michigan's Republican voters on Tuesday."
"Which Republican presidential contender is best placed to run a competitive race in November against Democratic President Barack Obama?
"We believe that candidate is Mitt Romney.
"While each of the Republican candidates in this race has strengths and weaknesses — glaringly outlined before millions of Americans in 20 debates over the past year — we believe that Romney, with his private and public success, is the best candidate for a job that requires business acumen as well as the ability to digest disparate ideas quickly, work with people with radically different ideas and bring clarity to complicated events...
"During this campaign, Romney has stressed his ability as a consensus maker, a person who knows how to get things done, and his term as governor of Massachusetts is a tribute to that. That is something that is sorely needed in Washington right now.
"Romney knows a few things that we believe will help the economy get back on track, something that will help millions of Americans who are now out of work. "Government doesn't create jobs, the private sector does," he says repeatedly on the campaign trail. He has put forth a tax plan that lowers the top corporate tax rate and cuts 20 percent off marginal rates for individuals, ideas he hopes will create jobs.
" "We've got to have more jobs, less debt and smaller government, they go together," Romney said in an appearance in Chandler, Ariz., earlier this week. "By lowering those marginal rates, we help businesses that pay at the individual tax rate to have more money so they can hire more people."
"He has also said that he will work to ease the debt burden on the U.S., which under the Obama administration has been increasing at more than $1.3 trillion a year...
"He's a consensus builder who will be able to reach across the aisle and get something done for the good of America."
"Within this year's Republican presidential field, Romney again stands out as the candidate who is best prepared through experience, skills and qualities to lead the country. Today the Journal endorses the businessman, former Massachusetts governor and former Winter Olympics CEO in the Jan. 3 caucuses.
"The 2012 election for president is, first and foremost, about the economy, jobs and the federal budget. Whether it's Barack Obama or a Republican, stark realities face the winner...
"Do not discount the importance of personal traits in a candidate for president. As we said in our 2007 endorsement of Romney, if a presidential candidate is a polarizing figure within the halls of Congress and devoid of the personal characteristics necessary to inspire Americans to listen and follow, his or her plans have little to no chance of success, regardless of how detailed and well-conceived they might be. Like the popular Ronald Reagan, Romney combines a pragmatic conservatism with confidence (not arrogance) and an easy, comfortable style and manner, even charm.
"If as a Republican your No. 1 priority is the defeat of Obama, consider this: Romney is the candidate within this field who is best-positioned to win general election votes from not simply Republican voters, but from the all-important Independents in the middle, as well as from moderate Democrats on the left.
"We do not question Romney's conservative credentials, whether the issue is economics, national defense or social issues. In Romney, the nation would get a candidate committed to reduced taxes, reduced spending and reduced regulation. He advocates for hiking defense spending to 4 percent of GDP and increasing active-duty forces by 10,000, and we trust him in taking the 3 a.m. national security call. If it's a "family values" candidate you want, Romney is a good and decent man of integrity who lives the values he espouses. By virtue of his bid for president in both 2008 and 2012, no candidate in this year's Republican field has been vetted like Romney. If no skeleton has been discovered in his closet to this point, it's likely there isn't one...
"In our view, his debate performances also have set him apart from the rest of the pack..."
"At a time when the challenges we face as a nation are formidable, complex, divisive, political and dangerous, America needs a leader with energy, intellect, vision, charisma and experience.
"In his party's field of presidential candidates, Mitt Romney stands out as such an individual. Today we endorse Romney as the Republican we support in the Jan. 3 Iowa Caucuses.
"Romney combines an outsider's new face with a proven track record of success as an executive in both the private and public sectors. As a businessman, the president and chief executive officer of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and governor of Massachusetts, he has demonstrated an ability to forge consensus, organize, mobilize and motivate in order to solve problems.
"Personally, he is engaging, even charming, he has shown an ability to reach across partisan divides, and he is passionate on the campaign trail. In terms of leadership qualities, he possesses "it," and the importance of "it" should not be diminished. Let's be honest, a candidate for president can prepare volumes of detailed ideas, but if he or she is a polarizing figure within the halls of Congress or devoid of the personal traits necessary to inspire Americans to listen and follow, those plans don't have a chance of success.
"In order to win his party's nomination and compete in the general election, Romney first must prove he's conservative enough, of course. Whether the subject is national defense, economics or social issues, his conservative credentials are strong. He understands the scope of the threat we face from Islamist jihadists and is committed to protecting America from them, wants to increase the size of the military by 100,000 troops and increase defense spending to 4 percent of our gross domestic product, and is committed to cutting taxes, wasteful federal spending and the size of government.
He speaks often and with conviction about families, protecting children, values and culture. He is pro-life, but he takes a pragmatic approach to the contentious issue. He believes each individual state should determine its abortion laws through the democratic process and "not have them dictated by judicial mandate." He advocates a get-tough approach toward illegal immigration and bolstering security on our southern border.
"Having earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, founded his own venture capital and investment company, managed the Olympic Games and run a state in which the Legislature is some 85 percent Democratic, Romney understands economic principles, the intricacies of reform in areas such as education and health care, and the essential need to work with the other side. It's reasonable to say the economy and budget of Massachusetts were in dramatically better shape when he left office than when he entered, that the once-troubled 2002 Winter Olympics were transformed into a profitable success under his watch...
"Finally, the 60-year-old Romney - son of the late George Romney, a three-term governor of Michigan and secretary of Housing and Urban Development in Richard Nixon's first term - is a man of decency and integrity. Likability cannot be discounted as an attribute important in a candidate for public office.
"Among all the Republican candidates this year, Romney best taps into what we believe Americans seek - a different look, a fresh vision, a return to America's goodness and greatness. He has earned the privilege to emerge from this field as his party's nominee and carry his message of "strong military, strong economy, strong families" into next year's general election campaign."
"Sobriety, wisdom and judgment. Those are qualities Mitt Romney said he looks for in a leader. Those are qualities Romney himself has demonstrated in his career in business, public service and government. Those qualities help the former Massachusetts governor stand out as the most qualified Republican candidate competing in the Iowa caucuses...
"Rebuilding the economy is the nation’s top priority, and Romney makes the best case among the Republicans that he could do that.
"He stands out in the current field of Republican candidates. He has solid credentials in a career that includes running and starting successful businesses, turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics and working with both political parties as Massachusetts governor to pass important initiatives. He stands out especially among candidates now in the top tier: Newt Gingrich is an undisciplined partisan who would alienate, not unite, if he reverts to mean-spirited attacks on display as House speaker. Ron Paul’s libertarian ideology would lead to economic chaos and isolationism, neither of which this nation can afford...
"While other Republican candidates are content to bash the president’s health reform law without offering meaningful reforms of their own, Romney has defended the principal goal of the Massachusetts health care legislation, which was to ensure that all residents there had access to health care. In the same way, Romney’s strategy on taxes is unique among the Republican contenders in calling for reforms that would benefit middle-income Americans and not just those at the top of the economic pyramid.
"This ability to see the merits of tough issues from something other than a knee-jerk, ideological perspective suggests that Mitt Romney would be willing to bridge the political divide in Washington. Americans are desperate for the Republicans and Democrats to work together. His record of ignoring partisan labels to pass important legislation when he was governor of Massachusetts suggests he is capable to making that happen.
"For those reasons, Mitt Romney deserves the support of his party in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. If he is the GOP nominee, the nation would have a clear choice in November 2012."
"The Des Moines Register has been publishing presidential endorsements before general elections for more than 60 years... Our goal in an endorsement is to provide a perspective for Iowans beyond what they read in regular news coverage and see in debates...
"Iowans take seriously their role as the first-in-the-nation caucus, Green said. So, too, does the Register. “We’re part of a unique conversation that dominates our state every four years but stretches well beyond Iowa. We embrace that responsibility thoughtfully, seriously and with due diligence.” ...
"The Des Moines Register’s editorial board met with all of the candidates competing in next month’s Iowa caucuses...
"After each editorial board meeting, we published essays we call “Impressions of the Candidates” on the Register’s Opinion page. Here are snapshots of those essays..."
"The Register is the largest newspaper in the state and in a lengthy editorial, it praised Romney as “pointedly refrain(ing) from reckless rhetoric and moralizing” while his opponents have “pandered to extremes...” "
"When choosing whom to endorse for president, we’re interested in one thing this year: Finding the person best able to help the nation fix the economy... who has the best understanding of the issues, who has the best ideas on how to move the nation forward and, most importantly, who has the leadership skills necessary to work with the Congress and the American people to ensure that many of those ideas become reality.
"After considering all the Republican candidates vying for the opportunity to take on President Obama in November, we think Mitt Romney is the candidate best suited to address the gridlock of dysfunction that has infected our federal system for the past generation...
"And what continues to make Romney such an attractive candidate right now is that, while in office, he was able to work across the aisle with a Democratic Legislature and was able to govern pragmatically and effectively.
"Indeed, in contrast to the current and former lawmakers running against him, Romney seems the person most likely to build bridges and to find solutions — rather than trying to ramrod through his own agenda and sulking when he doesn’t get his way. And he seems the most likely to negotiate solutions rather than perpetuate a partisan playground war...
"As Romney writes in the introduction to his book, “No Apology: Believe in America”: “Freedom does not require the complete absence of government — government plays a critical role in protecting our lives and liberties from those who would endeavor to take them from us. But freedom does demand restraint in government’s intrusion into our life, freedom and livelihood.”
"Romney, of all the Republican candidates, is in the best position to work with Congress and the nation to define realistically what those restraints should be. And we think he would offer a smart, substantial alternative to the Obama campaign in the fall."
"Like many Iowans, we've kicked the tires on the 2012 Republican presidential fleet of candidates, looking for the one who offers the best shot at substantively challenging President Barack Obama. After seeing all the candidates and interviewing five of them this season, the Times Editorial Board supports the one Iowans have kicked around the longest: Mitt Romney...
"We've found an articulate, polished chief executive with a range of business and governing experience that far exceeds his rivals...
"We believe a Republican nominee capable of appealing only to the party's most conservative base will virtually assure Obama's re-election. We do not want to see the president face a token challenge in 2012.
"Romney presents a far more serious challenge than any other caucus contender...
"A winning strategy
"Romney stands not as a last resort, but as a solid, first preference.
"Like Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, Romney makes his second presidential bid as a much stronger candidate... We support Mitt Romney."
"As candidate after candidate discussed leadership strategies, we found ourselves looking for the most Branstad-ish of the bunch. Who has extensive executive experience, but didn't build a career solely around government? ... Who has demonstrated an ability and enthusiasm for the detailed work of consensus building? Who speaks easily with regular Iowans?
"That's the lens that clarified our support of Mitt Romney. But it speaks so highly of Iowa's own governor, we felt the need to add an endorsement to today's page. In this contentious, entrenched environment, we endorse Branstad's executive leadership and work ethic..."
"Romney is the most conservative candidate who is running.
"Romney’s views for a strong military, limited government, lower taxes, free market principles, immigration reform, family values and high ethical standards are what make him appealing to conservative voters and to this newspaper.
"Romney has presented intriguing and worthwhile proposals for all of the key issues on health care, social security reform, immigration reform and defense similar to many of the candidates. But what distinguishes Romney from the rest of the pack in our eyes is his past performance in successfully running large enterprises...
"Romney’s keen business skills would be a welcomed change for business-as-usual in Washington. Voters have become tired of politics and nothing getting accomplished. We believe voters are searching for competence and fiscal responsibility in Washington, since too often the Bush administration has disappointed them in this area. Romney offers proven executive experience. He has met payrolls and knows how to run a giant operation. He has proven his leadership ability and business acumen in his campaign and throughout his successful professional life.
"On the personal side, he is a devoted husband and loving father. He has satisfactorily, for most Republicans, clarified his position on abortion as pro-life and gave a speech on his faith to shed light on some of the concerns and misinformation on Mormonism.
"We think Romney has all the skills it takes to be an effective leader and a good president who will be able to follow through on his vision for America."
"Our Position: Romney excels over all other Republican candidates.
"At no time in recent memory has this nation faced a greater array of formidable, complex and potentially dangerous challenges. The very nature of those complex challenges and the potential means of addressing them is a recipe for divisiveness. As Americans continue their search for a new commander-in-chief, they should search for an individual with vision, intellect and experience.
"In a Republican presidential field that boasts a host of candidates who bring a wide range of talents and experience to the table, we think former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney rises to the top as the best choice to lead his party toward the 2008 election...
"While all experiences point to what we feel would be a successful term in the White House, Romney's four years as governor of Massachusetts, a solidly Democratic state, underscore his potential for leading this nation. Those four years demonstrate his understanding of economic principles, the intricacies of reform and, most of all, his understanding of the need to work with those on the other side of the political aisle.
"Both the economy and the budget in Massachusetts were in better shape at the end of Romney's term than at the beginning, and the state had made significant strides in the areas of education and health care.
"Those results were not Romney's alone, but they were, in our view, the result of his vision and his leadership.
"Republicans need to think not only about a candidate who can win but also about a candidate who has the ability – the track record – to actually run the country if they win.
"American voters need someone who offers an alternative to the failed policies of President Barack Obama. Romney is the candidate best able to do that.
"It would be politically expedient for a presidential candidate to vow that he’ll single-handedly create jobs. Romney promises something else: He says he’ll get government out of the way, because government can’t create jobs. It can only inhibit their creation, as has been amply demonstrated over the past three years...
"Romney, by and large, has handled such challenges well; his grace under pressure, which has increased in recent debates and appearances, will be critical in a general-election matchup against Obama...
"Gingrich’s well-known personal history, of course, makes him unsavory to many — especially women, who provided a 24-point gender gap in favor of Romney in the Florida primary — and makes him an easy target for ridicule. This alone would make Gingrich the Obama campaign’s ideal challenger.
"Gingrich’s professional record also has been erratic. There are the ethics charges from his time as speaker. Though he now distances himself from it, Gingrich famously joined Nancy Pelosi in calling for solutions to global warming, and his recent call to colonize the moon managed to startle even GOP rival Ron Paul with its wackiness...
"Romney especially distinguishes himself from his Republican rivals — and the president — through his broad experience in business and in public service. In addition to his years investing in companies at Bain Capital, Romney is widely known for saving the troubled 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.
"He understands how the market works and what prevents it from working. Unlike Obama, who would have people think that the success of some takes away from others, Romney correctly sees that if policies are favorable to those who build companies and hire, benefits flow to all.
"Moreover, his balance of fiscal and social conservatism — and his proven ability to win and lead as a Republican in the liberal state of Massachusetts — make Romney most likely to appeal to independent voters and those who voted last time around for Obama and now are disappointed.
"Despite Obama’s poor record, the president remains a formidable foe. To prevail, Republicans need a candidate who appeals to more than the Republican base...
"Republicans should offer the voters of the United States a chief executive who is experienced at and unafraid of the often-unpopular job of turning things around. Romney fills that bill."
"Republican voters can no longer ignore the obvious: There is only one GOP candidate for president who has the temperament, character and discipline to lead the nation. One candidate with the business experience and management skills befitting a chief executive. One candidate who can appeal to a broad enough spectrum of voters to win in November. That candidate is Mitt Romney.
"We endorse him wholeheartedly in Tuesday’s Ohio primary. Romney is best suited to represent the GOP mainstream, advance a thoughtful conservative agenda, offer a strong alternative to President Obama and lead the nation into a new era of progress if elected this fall.
"For the good of the country as well as their party, Republicans should not reject their most electable candidate. Romney talks conservative, and his track record backs it up. Among his attributes: ...
"Mitt Romney outclasses his rivals, and Ohio voters appear to be getting the message. As of Friday, Romney had turned a double-digit deficit vs. Santorum into a virtual tie in some opinion polls.
"Always a key battleground state, Ohio is especially important in 2012 as a microcosm of the nation’s economic struggle and rebound. Its issues – job growth, a healthy business climate, creative solutions to fund public needs – are right in Romney’s wheelhouse.
"This is Mitt Romney’s time. And this is the place.
"Ohioans have the chance Tuesday to reset the nation’s political discourse and help America refocus on rational, results-oriented policies. They should make the most of it. They should support Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination."
"Ohio always looms large in presidential politics, especially among Republicans. Beginning with Abraham Lincoln, no GOP candidate has ever been elected president without Ohio's electoral votes. In any Republican strategy to unseat President Barack Obama this November, Ohio is a must-win state.
"As Ohio Republicans prepare to vote in Tuesday's primary, they need to remember the ultimate prize: winning in November...
"Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is the only remaining Republican contender capable of that...
"But Romney's private-sector success is also critical to his appeal. He understands how businesses and investors make decisions. He has had to make tough choices, trade short-term pain for long-term gain. A serious debate between Romney and Obama about the proper role and size of government would be healthy for a nation facing grave fiscal challenges...
"In fact, it is Romney's real-world experiences -- in business, as a governor and as the executive who rescued the Salt Lake City Olympics -- that set him apart from the GOP field. They are what make him, by far, the best choice for Ohio Republicans."
"While other Republican candidates for president have entered and exited the race, and risen and fallen in the polls, only one of them has weathered the storm and consistently led the pack — and for good reason. That individual is Romney, whose candidacy we endorse for Tuesday’s Republican primary.
"With 20 Republican presidential debates already held during this campaign season, American voters interested in knowing where the candidates stand should have a pretty good idea by now. On some of the key issues:
"TAXES — Romney wants to simplify the U.S. tax system by lowering rates in order to expand the tax base, therefore helping the economy.
"JOBS — As a successful business leader and governor, Romney understands labor relations and has sound ideas on ways to reduce unemployment and put more people back to work.
"FEDERAL DEFICIT — Romney pledges to cut government waste and spending; he would cap federal spending at 20 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and would support a Balanced Budget Amendment.
"TRADE — He supports free trade, opening markets beyond American borders.
"Romney, whose leanings fall toward the middle of the conservative political spectrum, has the experience, character, vision and temperament to be president..."
"... Romney has been successful at everything he has touched. Despite growing up in a wealthy family, he has worked hard - first at Harvard, where he was awarded both an advanced degree in business and a law degree, and then in subsequent ventures, from his days at a money management firm, Bain Capital, where he made his own fortune, to his successful stewardship of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. He strikes us as a hard worker, a pragmatic problem-solver, a good manager.
"Romney is by far the best choice for Republicans on Tuesday."
"Voices of common sense, not anger and entitlement, spring from the Heartland...
"Today we call on those in the Heartland to stand united. Let's put a stop to the inane bashing going on in the Republican presidential race. Let's unite behind a man who can beat Obama and let's do it sooner rather than later.
"That man is Mitt Romney...
"Romney aligns with our values in Oklahoma and throughout the Heartland...
"Romney brings hands-on experience and pragmatism...
"We must elect a new president who, unlike Obama, can govern better than he can campaign, one who will actually stop campaigning when the election is over.
"Obama was a poor choice...
"Mitt Romney exudes wisdom, in addition to decency, compassion, pragmatism and coalition-building skills. For a Republican to get elected in Massachusetts is remarkable, perhaps a bigger feat than Republican Ronald Reagan getting elected governor in California.
"Romney is a self-made man. Obama is a government-made man. Romney's skill set includes three areas of expertise that are needed to run this country:
"He has success in the private sector. Romney led Bain Capital from a staff of seven people managing $37 million to 115 people managing $4 billion. His firm on average doubled its return on realized investments every year.
"He has success in the public/private sector. “In 1999, three years before the 2002 Winter Olympics,” Reuters reported, “the Salt Lake City games were mired in a bribery scandal and facing a $400 million budget shortfall.” Cutting expenses, Romney turned this potential world-stage disaster into an overwhelming success, a factor in his subsequent election as governor of Massachusetts.
"He has success in the public sector. Romney took office as governor midway in a fiscal year facting a potential $650 million shortfall in the Massachusetts budget. By restructuring state government, increasing some fees and making legislative changes to the state's tax code, he was able to balance the budget without tax increases...
"The time to unite behind Romney is now, not after Iowa or New Hampshire or the Oklahoma primary in early March. Now!
"In 2008, all 77 of our counties lined up against Barack Obama. It's time for us to line up for Mitt Romney. From here, this movement needs to grow throughout the Heartland. Together, our voices can lead Republivcans, independents and Reagan Democrats in other states out of the wilderness. We can be the voice of reason by supporting someone who on Day One will send a jobs package to Congress with the goal of putting America back on a path of robust economic growth.
"In the remaining days, weeks and months of his presidency, he will rely on the collective strength of this nation to restore us to greatness. Mitt Romney is the man — the only man — who can beat Barack Obama."
"Republicans long ago identified the qualities required of a presidential candidate...
"Above all else, that candidate must exude an adult-in-the-room savvy regarding stabilizing federal spending and growing the economy and be able to express that competence to the American people...
"Not only is the former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, best prepared, according to those criteria, of all the remaining GOP presidential hopefuls. He is also among the most skilled job-creating candidates for chief executive we can imagine...
"There are better orators in American politics. Indeed, the Democrats appear to have one...
"But there is eloquence in achievement. And, for the task at hand, as defined by Republicans themselves, the real-world achievements of Mitt Romney far surpass those of virtually all the lifelong politicians against whom he is competing...
"And speaking of the man's values, those very family values that Romney quietly exudes constitute an eloquent response of their own to those who contend the wealthy Romney is "out of touch" with the common person...
"The advantages Romney has brought to this primary race, including his superior organization and successful fundraising, are further evidence of his superiority over his competitors. Both Santorum and Gingrich failed to make the primary ballot in their adopted home state of Virginia. That is not a mistake the efficient Romney organization would make.
"Mitt Romney is by far the best candidate to represent Republicans in the coming race against President Obama. He is best prepared to do what needs to be done, which is nothing less than restoring the American economy."
"His greatest strength is his command of economic issues and his understanding of what the private sector needs to create jobs. He has criticized the uncertainty President Obama and Congress have created by not passing budgets and refusing to provide businesses and investors with a predictable, permanent tax code. And he understands the economic ruin that lies ahead if Washington can't conquer its spending addiction. "We can't have a government that keeps spending more than it takes in, otherwise enterprise will not invest in America," he said.
"Mr. Romney is pro-growth all the way. He wants the country to develop all its energy resources, not punish the oil, coal and gas sectors. He wants states and citizens to have more freedom to innovate. And perhaps most importantly, Mr. Romney is a Washington outsider, not a capital insider."
"Mr. Romney's economic agenda includes several pro-growth policies, including a plan to eliminate taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends for any household earning less than $200,000 a year. He backs a line-item veto, favors making the Bush tax cuts permanent and understands that imposing higher taxes as a means of fixing Social Security will only make the problem worse.
"He's supportive of free trade, rejects protectionism, backs tort reform, supports school choice and accountability, and while governor was even able to successfully push a handful of spending reforms through Massachusetts' overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. Mr. Romney vows to exercise his veto power if Congress doesn't embrace spending restraint and understands the drag that excessive federal regulation imposes on the innovation and the economy." (The newspaper's endorsement and editorial on Mitt Romney shortly before the Nevada Caucuses.)
"On the Republican side, we support Romney because of his strong executive background and his ability to achieve results in a state that is dominated by members of the opposite party.
"His “strategy for a stronger America” promises to lower taxes while improving education and making our nation more competitive in the global marketplace. He also understands the threat America faces from jihadists in the Middle East, and proposes a “Marshall Plan” to unify moderate Muslims against terrorism at its source."
"Mitt Romney is the best — the only — choice for Nevada Republicans when they consider the four presidential contenders in their caucuses on Saturday.
"Of those remaining, the former Massachusetts governor is the candidate who best represents the long-held values of Republican Party. Equally important, he is the one candidate who can be elected and the one best able to deal with the political realities in Washington, D.C., to accomplish what he and his party hope to accomplish if he’s elected president of the United States...
"Although Romney made his mark when he took over the scandal-plagued Winter Olympic Games in nearby Salt Lake City, his first political victory was the governor’s race in “liberal” Massachusetts...
"Romney’s term as Massachusetts governor was widely considered a success, however, and he demonstrated an ability to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle, a skill that would serve him well should he win the presidency in November and find himself dealing in the highly partisan atmosphere of the nation’s capital next year.
"He has the extensive, successful business experience that Republicans say the country needs in a president. He is the Washington outsider they say they want. And he has solid conservative, if not always firm, credentials."
"The best candidate — and the one who would give the party its strongest chance in the fall — is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"Romney is a successful businessman who showed his ability to get voters to cross party lines when he won the governor's office in Massachusetts, home of the Kennedys, Michael Dukakis and John Kerry. He left that office with his reputation and his relationships intact.
"Romney's most remarkable feat, however, was his stewardship of the Salt Lake City Olympics. He showed that he could bring disparate groups together, clean up a mess left by his predecessor and put on possibly the most successful games ever...
"Republicans need a candidate who represents conservative values, builds bipartisan support and signals change for a restless electorate.
"In few election years have Republicans enjoyed the diverse and impressive selection of presidential candidates they do in 2008. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stands out among these elite talents as a proven administrator, the candidate with the best understanding of the U.S. economy, and the contender most likely to stem illegal immigration. The Sacramento Union therefore endorses Willard Mitt Romney as Republican nominee for the U.S. presidency.
"Romney possesses perhaps the strongest managerial resume and record of anyone who has ever sought the U.S. presidency. He holds joint JD/MBA degrees from Harvard Law School, where he graduated cum laude, and Harvard Business School, where he made the top 5 percent of his class.
"No other candidate, Republican or Democratic, has Romney’s ground-level experience and success in the U.S. economy. He began his business career as a vice president for Bain & Company, a Boston management consulting firm, before founding and heading Bain Capital, a spin-off, private investment company. Under Romney’s 14-year leadership, Bain Capital’s internal rate of return on realized investments was 113 percent. In 1990, he returned to Bain & Company, then near bankruptcy. Within a year, he rescued the company from the red without lay-offs, and today, it employs more than 2,000 people in 25 offices around the world.
"Romney later became CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games, where he again demonstrated the kind of managerial talents the White House demands. When Romney took the helm, the event was foundering, $379 million short of its revenue benchmarks. The games were plagued, too, by allegations of bribery against Romney’s predecessors. Romney staunched the event’s deficit spending, increased fundraising, organized 23,000 volunteers, and ended the games with a $100 million profit despite spending $224.5 million to ensure security following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
"In 2002 Romney showed his ability to appeal to a broad crosssection of voters when he was elected, as a conservative, to the governorship of notoriously leftleaning, high-tax Massachusetts. There, he inherited a $1.2 billion state budget deficit but orchestrated a magnificent turnaround. He balanced the state budget every year of his administration without raising taxes and recorded a $700 million surplus in 2006. During his last year, Romney tried to control costs by vetoing 250 items in the state budget, all of which were overturned by the free-spending state legislature. This more than suggests that Romney has the fortitude to fight the pork barrel expenditures he will inevitably encounter in Washington, D.C.
"With the U.S. either on the cusp of an economic recession or already in its throes, Romney is best equipped among the GOP presidential contestants to achieve yet another turnaround by reviving the nation’s capacity to generate jobs and business. When he became governor, Massachusetts was shedding thousands of jobs per month. But at the close of his administration, the state had attracted hundreds of new companies and added 60,000 new jobs.
"Romney is a Reagan-style supply-sider. He knows that lower taxes invigorate the economy by increasing investment in new plants and jobs. Unlike other candidates, he has taken the no-tax pledge advanced by Americans for Tax Reform. He supported the 2003 Bush tax cuts and will work to make them permanent. What is more, he would eliminate capital gains taxes on middle-class taxpayers and do away with the “death tax” (inheritance tax) for all taxpayers.
"We also believe that Romney will do what is necessary to preserve America’s sovereignty and security in the face of 12 to 20 million illegal aliens residing in the U.S. He opposed last year’s McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill, favors implementation of “a mandatory biometrically-enabled and tamper-proof documentation and employment-verification system,” supports development of “a wall or fence or electronic surveillance” along America’s porous borders, and has pushed for broader enforcement of U.S. immigration laws by state and local police. Gov. Romney signed an agreement in 2006 to allow Massachusetts state troopers to enforce federal immigration laws. He also vetoed in-state tuition for illegals, fought efforts to weaken the state’s English language immersion law, and opposed legislation to grant driver’s licenses to illegals.
"He is right on the immigration issue as he is on most others. But the issue that will count most this election year is the economy. With polls showing that voters are increasingly worried about the housing and debt meltdown, Romney appears to be the right man at the right time. While other candidates have been hard pressed to offer quick fixes to these economic woes, Romney alone boasts a record of financial crisis management. No other candidate possesses his grasp of marketplace dynamics. And none have resuscitated a budget the size of Massachusetts’. He is a proven turnaround specialist, just what is needed if the country is to achieve four more years of economic prosperity."
"Over the last month, we have provided our endorsements, but left two races open-ended as we debated them internally: the Republican presidential nomination, and the Indian gaming propositions.
"Knowing that voters must do the same, we have made up our minds. It wasn't easy. There was more internal debate about the candidates and issues than there has been in years - and that's a good thing.
"Our endorsements.. Republican: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Although Arizona Sen. John McCain's maverick streak appeals to some of us, Romney has proved that an intelligent, conservative businessman can effectively lead the nation's most liberal state, stage a fantastic Winter Olympics and create wealth and jobs in the private sector."
"Most candidates on the Oregon presidential ballot are put there by the secretary of state, who draws up a list of serious candidates three months before the primary. This year, that gives Oregon Republican voters a choice among former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
"Voters in other states have already focused the choice on Romney. To choose the candidate most likely to challenge President Obama's re-election, most capable of serving effectively as president and most likely to strengthen the Republican Party, Oregon Republican voters should agree...
"Any of Romney's competitors would have difficulty leading a ticket and energizing a party in Oregon, underlining a major argument why Romney particularly appeal to local Republicans. In a state without a Republican in any statewide office, Romney might help build a more inclusive state Republican party."
"Colorado Republicans had it right in 2008 and, as they gather for precinct caucuses on Tuesday night, we expect they will get it right again.
"As was the case four years ago, we believe former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the best choice among candidates for the GOP presidential nomination.
"With a ballooning federal deficit, a stubborn unemployment rate and a stagnant housing market, Romney's executive experience in government and business sets him apart from the field vying to take on Democratic President Barack Obama.
"We first endorsed in presidential primary elections in 2008. Given the spot the Colorado GOP caucuses landed on the calendar this year, we have decided to weigh in again...
"On the issues, Romney has a lengthy economic blueprint that is more sensible than those of his fellow Republicans, who have competed to one-up one another as far as eliminating federal departments and racing to underbid one another on flat-tax plans.
"Romney knows that this nation must get serious about its growing debt, and has said that he would cut government spending to 20 percent of gross domestic product. On entitlement programs, he understands that Social Security and Medicare must be revamped if they are to remain viable. On education, he has been a leader in supporting school choice...
"More important, in our view, is his record of accomplishment.
"As governor of Massachusetts, Romney, despite a Democratic-controlled legislature, left behind a $2 billion rainy day fund. He had earlier rescued the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Those achievements demonstrate Romney is capable of managing under difficult conditions...
"Romney's impressive win in Florida last Tuesday — with an electorate that bears a much closer resemblance to the nation as a whole than Iowa and South Carolina — is a signal that his resume and message have the broadest reach among this year's Republican field.
"We endorsed him over eventual nominee John McCain in 2008, and we've seen nothing this campaign season to change our view that he is again the top candidate among Republican contenders."
"Arizona Sen. John McCain, now the frontrunner, is an American hero, a foreign-policy expert and a veteran of the Washington trenches. But with a volatile economy overtaking Iraq as a chief concern among voters, we believe that Mitt Romney is the best choice for Colorado Republicans.
"As a governor of Massachusetts, a skilled businessman and the savior of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Romney possesses the executive acumen necessary to implement policies that produce results. Wouldn't that be a strange change in Washington?
"In a recent phone interview with The Post's editorial board, Romney impressed us with his broad range of knowledge, his grasp of economic policy and his understanding of issues important to Western voters.
"Washington Republicans have strayed far from the fiscal conservatism their party has traditionally championed. So while we applaud McCain's stand against wasteful spending, we're even more impressed with Romney's real-world experience in running lean budgets and bringing financial competency to companies.
"We believe his economic growth plan — eliminating taxes on capital gains and interest and dividends for middle-class households — will help spur capital investment and the economy.
"But the best example of Romney's ability to create the type of bipartisan solutions so desperately needed inside the Beltway is his health care record. Romney forged a plan with Democrats in the Massachusetts legislature to help insure as many as 400,000 citizens while still preserving market competition and choice.
"Romney has stressed that his Massachusetts plan is not the answer for every state. But it's a promising start and inspired Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton's own health insurance plan...
"Romney has the resume and executive experience to be not only an effective president, but a problem-solver in a world full of problems."
"When Americans go to the polls in November, they will be electing a chief executive of the United States. As we survey the Republican field of presidential aspirants in Utah's Feb. 5 primary, one candidate stands above the others as a talented chief executive: Mitt Romney.
"Utahns learned about Romney up close when the state's governor at the time, Mike Leavitt, tapped him in 1999 to rescue the scandal-plagued committee that was organizing the 2002 Winter Olympic..."
"... Romney is an extremely successful businessman and was a very competent governor who accomplished much of his agenda by working across party lines.
"Given an economy that continues to struggle and a Congress at war with itself, Romney's strengths separate him from the Republican Party's other would-be challengers to Obama... He is an able fundraiser and much better organized than his rivals, which reflect well on his competency.
"That competency shone through with Romney's rescue of the scandal-ridden 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Romney came on board after previous leaders resigned amid bribery charges and left the event with a $379 million shortfall. The Games ended up making a $100 million profit.
"In Massachusetts, one of the country's most liberal states, Romney worked with an overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature to adopt sweeping education reforms that included testing and accountability for teachers and schools, as well as incentives for teachers whose students perform well..."
"Alabama voters who want to return a Republican to the White House should take a reality check before voting in Tuesday’s primary...
"To defeat President Barack Obama, the GOP will need to capture the support of independents and moderates. Mitt Romney is the only candidate on the ballot with the ability to accomplish this.
"But no one should consider Romney the candidate of last resort. The former governor of Massachusetts is an experienced leader with the skills and integrity needed to guide the world’s most powerful nation.
"He has a record of taking troubled entities and turning them around. That record includes the role he played in saving the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City when the event was threatened by mismanagement and fallout from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks...
"With President Obama’s popularity growing — on the wings of an improving economy, successful military operations and a rebounding auto industry — Republicans are seeking a winning candidate in November. We believe that candidate is Mitt Romney."
"GEORGIA REPUBLICANS who hope to win the White House in November should rally next Tuesday behind the one GOP challenger who has the best chance of winning: Mitt Romney...
"He’s fiscally conservative and comes with an extensive business background. He has an impressive record of achievement as a Republican governor of one of the most liberal states in the country. He understands what the nation must do to put more people back to work, while not bankrupting future generations of Americans, imposing job-killing rules and trampling the Constitution...."
"The qualities needed now in the Oval Office are business knowledge and experience, an understanding of economies and the imperatives of those who manage them around the world, an ability to problem-solve and to assess talent and to assemble the right team to accomplish a mission. What's needed, too, is a strong grounding in principle and steadfastness in the face of pressure and panic, but with the adaptability and flexibility to adjust to changing circumstances...
"The Republican who best exemplifies all the qualities needed in a president is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a successful CEO...
"For Republicans, it's time to be realistic. And the reality is that the next president could be handed a Congress controlled by Democrats, as George W. Bush was in 2006. That demands a leader with experience in working with the opposition party...
"In addition to a pragmatism toward the opposition, another practical concern for Republicans is electability. To win the White House, Republicans need a nominee who can be competitive in states drifting Democratic — Ohio or Colorado, among others.
"Romney can. On policy matters, the great differences are between the two parties — not, frankly, the serious contenders in either field.
"It is for that reason that purists should recognize that the crucial test is which of these candidates can win in November. In all respects, Romney looks, sounds and acts presidential, projecting competence and the intelligence to deal comfortably with policy nuance and complexity. In a perilous world, whether the peril is terrorism, global competition or a tanking economy, Mitt Romney is the Republican who inspires confidence in his ability to lead.
" "I will not need briefings on how the economy works; I know how it works," Romney said last week in Florida. "I've been there. I think it's time to have a president who understands the economy, understands jobs, understands why jobs come and go."
"That should be an appealing argument to Republicans."
"The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia's largest newspaper, is endorsing former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the Republican race for the White House."
"The newspaper said in an editorial published in its Sunday newspaper that it believes Romney best exemplifies the qualities needed in a president, including business knowledge and experience and the ability to perform under pressure."
"Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the winner of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, is the candidate best prepared to make the Republicans' case that change is needed in the White House...
"Romney has a breadth of experience and a record of pragmatism that makes him the most viable Republican candidate. He has considerable business experience from his 15 years as head of Bain Capital, the private equity firm that has ironically become a target for his Republican opponents who otherwise champion free enterprise... and for better or worse, that private sector experience sets Romney apart from his opponents.
"After running Bain, Romney salvaged the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. By all accounts, the Games were under an ethical cloud and in deep financial trouble when he became head of the organizing committee. Romney turned it around and became the face of those Olympics, raising tens of millions from new sponsors and the federal government, and turning what could have been an embarrassment into a civic success. That experience reflects Romney's ability to surround himself with talent, transform bureaucracies and build public support.
"As Massachusetts governor from 2003 to 2007, Romney demonstrated he could work with Democrats and overcome financial challenges. It is true that he inherited a $3 billion deficit, which he helped close in part with modest increases in revenue... We prefer Romney's public record to his political rhetoric... he has become a more polished candidate who has performed well in debates and so far withstood withering attacks from within his own party...
"Romney has earned his status as the Republican front-runner and the candidate best prepared to engage Obama in a spirited campaign about the direction of the nation. It's time to move toward that debate, with the hope that voters can send a message that helps resolve some fundamental questions at the heart of Washington's gridlock. In the Florida Republican primary for president, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Mitt Romney."
"We feel that Romney has some of the best ideas in the GOP field not just for the nation, but for our area.
"We believe Romney has good ideas about defense spending in a post-Iraq/Afghanistan era...
"Romney also has a thoughtful position on another issue important to Northwest Florida: Medicare. Romney believes that some of the ideas put forward by Paul Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin, hold merit, including the possibility of vouchers and increased managed care. Romney also is clear that any adjustments to the Medicare program would be for future beneficiaries...
"We also think Romney's plan to reduce the federal workforce has merit, as does his plan to link the pay of government workers more closely to that of their counterparts in the private sector."
"His accomplishments in both the public and private sectors suggest he would be a steady and competent leader for these divisive and turbulent times.
"Romney was a well-regarded Republican governor in a state dominated by Democrats. He took charge of the foundering effort to organize the 2002 Winter Olympics and made it work. And he ran hugely profitable consulting and private equity firms.
"Romney's rivals have tried to turn the assets on his resume into liabilities.
"They've blistered him for passing a health-care-reform plan as governor. We give Romney credit for working with lawmakers in his state to solve a problem without waiting for Washington to dictate a solution, which is exactly what happened.
"Romney also has been accused of killing jobs through his private equity firm, Bain Capital. Republicans should know better...
"Despite his decades as an insider, Gingrich has brilliantly articulated the rage many GOP voters feel against the political establishment. We admire his intellect, but when it comes to leadership, anger doesn't trump a diverse and successful record...
"Florida Republicans have two compelling reasons to vote for Mitt Romney: He's the best candidate, and he fits the late William F. Buckley's description as the most conservative candidate who can win."
"In Case You Missed It: Governor Romney Gets First Newspaper Endorsement In Florida"
"Although the Florida primary is more than six months away, we believe it is important to get behind the candidate we feel is best suited to be the next president of the United States: Mitt Romney.
"We feel his vision and leadership are vital to providing for our national interests as well as economic stability and growth in a shrinking world market.
"Romney is not the frontrunner in the Republican Party, but he is the clear candidate of choice in looking at former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's liberal politics and Sen. John McCain's old-school Washington insider status...
"So why now? Why not wait until the primaries?
"The answer is simple.
"We've seen and heard enough from the debates to know that McCain is yesterday's news and outside of his 9/11 heroics, Giuliani doesn't have a national platform.
"Romney has a strong campaign base.
"The fact that Romney won the governorship in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the most liberal of all the states, speaks volumes about his broad appeal – his Reaganesque appeal, something this country vitally needs.
"With a war raging in Iraq, instability among the Palestinians and Israel and Iran's veiled threats and nuclear program, the nation needs to get behind the strongest candidate.
"MITT ROMNEY was not our first choice for the Republican nomination for president of the United States, but he was one of two candidates who stood head and shoulders above the rest of the field as sensible, experienced grownups with a history of making things work rather than pursuing ideological fetishes.
"Mr. Romney always has been less interested in philosophy than in problem-solving. As The Washington Post summarized the views of his friends: “obeisance to ideology would impose a rigidity that would inhibit Romney’s real talent, which is forging new ways to fix old problems.”
"He has demonstrated that talent to dramatic effect, from making a fortune rescuing companies (and dismantling others) as a private-equities investor to turning the floundering, scandal-ridden Salt Lake Olympics Games into a financial success. He led Massachusetts out of financial crisis, and pushed through a landmark health reform that was seen as the conservative answer... If there’s anything we need in Washington, it’s more problem solving and less ideological purity...
"We are endorsing Mr. Romney, because of our continued belief that he can be what we need in a president: Someone who can work within our poisonous political environment to solve our nation’s problems, not simply score partisan points. Someone who understands that negotiation is essential in a representative democracy, and that there are good ideas across the political spectrum. Someone who has a well-defined set of core values but is not so rigid that he ignores new information and new conditions. Someone who has shown himself to be honest and trustworthy and competent. Someone whose positions are well-reasoned and based on the world as it is rather than as he pretends it to be. Someone with the temperament and judgment and experience to be taken seriously as the commander in chief and leader of the free world."
"Mitt Romney is the Republican with the best chance of winning the White House in November. But the best reason to vote for him in Saturday's South Carolina primary is this:
"He's the best candidate for the job.
"The former Massachusetts governor has an impressive record, in and out of public office. His extensive background, steady temperament and sense of purpose make him the right GOP choice for the crucial task of leading our nation out of tough times and virtual political gridlock.
"At this point in Barack Obama's presidency, it is sadly clear that he has pushed our nation too far to the left -- and as a direct consequence, far too deeply into record debt. Mr. Romney is a proven fiscal conservative with the ability and resolve required to correct that wayward course...
"That doesn't mean Gov. Romney was a pushover. He issued more than 800 vetoes...
"Mr. Romney's GOP rivals again targeted him at Thursday night's debate at the North Charleston Coliseum. After all, he's the front-runner.
"He also is the Republican best equipped to win a defining debate about America's future with President Obama. As Mr. Romney told us: "I will look forward to debating him and saying, 'Which of your provisions do you think encouraged people to hire? Do you think Obamacare encouraged private enterprise to hire? Do you think Dodd-Frank encouraged banks to make loans? ... Do you think the Boeing decision in South Carolina encouraged businesses to expand? Do you think stacking the NLRB with labor stooges encourages businesses to hire people?' "
"We look forward to seeing Mr. Romney pose those key questions. We also look forward to moving beyond the hard feelings of our primary, with its glut of PAC-funded negative ads and intrusive "robo-calls," back to the pressing challenges that should be the basis for the electorate's presidential choice not just on Saturday but on Nov. 6...
"Mr. Romney later came on strong with this debate declaration: "Ours is the party of free enterprise, freedom, markets, consumer choice. Theirs is the party of government knowledge, government domination, where Barack Obama believes that he knows better for the American people what's best for them. He's wrong. We're right. That's why we're going to win."
"Mitt Romney's combination of skills, experience and commitment make him the right man at the right time to be president."
"For most Palmetto State Republicans, one goal matters far more than anything else: Beating Obama. There are scenarios in which other Republican candidates could do that, but it's a gamble not worth taking. Presidential elections are won in the middle, not on the fringes, and Romney can take that middle from the president like none of the other GOP candidates can. So if one's goal is to elect a president who will enact a conservative agenda, he is the obvious choice.
"Leading Bain Capital in the 1980s, Romney shined in his role as investor. In January 1991 he returned to Bain & Co. and within two years had rescued it from collapse. Similarly, the Olympics in Salt Lake City were nearly $400 million behind where they needed to be when Romney came in. He took charge and led the Olympics to success, and to a profit.
"Republicans are debating Romney's record at Bain and how many jobs he created. But with a stubbornly high S.C. unemployment rate currently at 9.9 percent, is there really any candidate in this primary field who could be better trusted on that front than Romney?
"He has as much or more executive experience as any of his rivals. As a Republican governor in a liberal state, he showed the ability to pass important public policy under challenging circumstances, and he helped erase a projected $3 billion deficit.
"Former businessman and governor has the leadership skills necessary for the White House.
"Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has executive experience. He has led corporations, the Olympics and a state. He was successful in all these endeavors. And he represents the best chance to deny President Barack Obama another term.
"Romney is a genuine conservative. He plans to reduce the size of the federal government. Romney has an extensive plan to return various federal programs to the states, where they can be run more efficiently and with a better eye toward local needs.
"He wants to limit the role of the federal government in education. He wants to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by utilizing domestic resources.
"He has an effective plan to grow the economy by reducing taxes. And he is committed to appointing federal judges who enforce the Constitution rather than their own political agendas...
"There are other candidates who claim to be more conservative than Romney, and maybe they are. But pursuing ideological purity is not in the Republican Party’s or the nation’s interests. The important thing for South Carolina Republicans to remember is that their goal is ending the left-wing administration of Barack Obama...
"GOP primary voters may be looking for the most conservative candidate possible, but the rest of the nation is not. In November, the majority of voters will be looking for a candidate to represent a point of view closer to the center. They will want someone who can bring more unity to the nation after 20 years of increasingly bitter polarization under Bill Clinton, George Bush and Obama.
"Romney is the candidate who can be that choice in the general election. None of the other Republican hopefuls can be. Republican voters cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. If they insist on ideological purity from the GOP nominee, they will endure four more years of Obama."
"Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the strongest candidate on the ballot, and he is best qualified to mount a serious campaign this fall...
"Romney is best equipped of the Republican candidates to help this country get its financial house in order, to rein in a federal government inclined to add crushing regulations, to free business capital to create jobs and to improve the lives of Americans up and down the economic ladder. He is thoughtful when it comes to protecting the country, enhancing its national security and improving its relationship with trusted allies. At the same time, his executive experience in the business world and in state government gives him an undeniable advantage in this Republican primary...
"As he wrote in a column on these pages a few months ago when the National Labor Relations Board had endangered the new Boeing plant in South Carolina, “America’s workers have long been the most productive in the world. If we unshackle them from the self-interested restrictions of federal bureaucrats and union bosses alike, I have no doubt that they will produce wonders far beyond those, like Boeing’s Dreamliner, that have already made America the great country that it is.” That is not a dreamy-eyed philosophy, but one that comes from a man who has spent more time in the business world than in government work."
"The Express-News Editorial Board is taking the unusual step of endorsing a GOP presidential candidate now — three months before the Texas primary... the clear choice is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"A series of alternative candidates have risen to the top of the Republican field, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry. None of them have been able to withstand public scrutiny and the media spotlight as confidently as Romney.
"Romney, almost to a fault, is data-driven and speaks knowledgably about the issues facing the nation. In the long series of GOP presidential debates that have exposed the weaknesses of other candidates, he has delivered steady and solid performances. About the economy and how to revive it, Romney has a pro-growth plan that is solidly conservative..."
We need a leader — one who can work with a deeply divided Congress and a deeply divided nation.
Romney as governor of a thoroughly Democratic state actually managed to get things done during his tenure...
And Romney is at the core of his being a small government kind of guy. That isn’t simply campaign rhetoric...
He knows that long-term entitlement reform is key to getting the economy back on track...
Romney’s appeal at the national level is what it has always been here — he’s a tough, no nonsense CEO who wants to bring a sense of trust back to government. And he can attract to his candidacy that growing number of independent voters who will ultimately decide the presidency in November just as he did when he successfully ran for governor in this bluest of blue states.
Mitt Romney can get the job done — the job of running for president and the job of governing. And the Herald is pleased to endorse his candidacy.
''One of the common refrains during the dozen Republican presidential debates – and a reliable applause generator at that – is that “anybody up on this stage” could beat Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.
''Don’t believe it. Only 10 sitting presidents have lost their bid for re-election in U.S. history – just three of them Democrats – and it only has happened three times since World War II: George H.W. Bush in 1992, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and Gerald Ford in 1976.
''So if Republicans are serious about reclaiming the White House – an office they have controlled for 28 of the past 40 years – it is imperative they get behind a candidate capable of reaching beyond the party ideologues and attracting the support of independents and disenchanted Democrats across the nation.
''That candidate, who also just so happens to be the most qualified candidate, is Mitt Romney...
''For us, evaluating a party’s potential nominee for president is much like interviewing applicants for a job opening. We check their resume. We look them in the eye and evaluate how they respond to our questions during their meetings with our editorial board. We observe how they conduct themselves on the campaign trail and in the televised debates with their peers.
''When we put that all together, we can come to no other conclusion than Romney has the intelligence, business acumen, political skills and leadership ability to earn our endorsement as his party’s nominee for president.
''And, with it, the right to compete head-to-head with our Democratic president come November, giving voters a clear choice on the future direction of the nation in the process.''
''Our nation remains mired in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Millions are out of work. In a climate of regulatory uncertainty, companies fear to make the decisions they must make to grow. Investors are hanging on to their money, unwilling to take the risks that fuel innovation and job creation.
''This stagnation is a failure of government...
''In the 2012 election, the Republican Party must offer the American people a clear alternative to President Obama and the Democrats...
''We urge Republicans and independents to support Mitt Romney in the New Hampshire Republican primary.
''In his private career as a successful venture capitalist and his public career as governor of Massachusetts, Romney has shown he can make the tough executive decisions needed to get the nation back on track.
''As governor of Massachusetts, Romney eliminated a $3 billion budget deficit and cut state spending, not merely reducing its rate of growth.
''Romney wants to lift the foot of government from the neck of American business. He wants to trim away the mass of regulation built up under President Obama and let the free enterprise system work once more.
''Romney wants to cut federal spending, capping it at 20 percent of the gross domestic product. That has been the average spending rate since the 1950s until Obama took office. Romney also favors lower tax rates spread over a broader tax base...
''Romney believes in a strong national defense. He believes that the world is a safer place when America is strong. He says that while there are certainly weapons systems that can be cut and cost savings to be realized, he favors rebuilding our aging Navy and Air Force, keeping our Army well-staffed and caring for our returning veterans.''
The New Hampshire Eagle-Tribune serves south-east New Hampshire, including Haverhill and Merrimack Valley, and northern Massachusetts
''Mitt Romney yesterday said his business experience makes him a better choice to revive the economy...
'' "The 25 years of my career spent in the private economy helps me understand the power of the American experiment, the danger of the president's transformation of our private economy and the way forward to create jobs again," Romney said.
'' "Rick, like others on the platform, has spent his career in politics," Romney said. "There's nothing wrong with that. It's an important contribution. But it's a different background at a time when we have to have someone who understands how the economy works." ...
'' "I can get America working again, not just with good jobs, but with the values and principles that drove America to be the most powerful nation in the world," Romney said in the interview. "I'm running not to protect the 1 percent. They're doing just fine. I'm running to help the 99 percent that are in trouble by this president's economy." ''
''The presidential election of 2012 may just well be the most important election of our lifetime...
''The Republican candidates this year are one of the finest groups we have seen and we would proudly vote for any one of them next November. Still, the number one issue at hand is in defeating Barack Obama and his progressive agenda.
''We feel that the best candidate to take on this task and to win is Mitt Romney...
''In his time as Governor of Massachusetts, he helped turn a massive deficit to a 600 million-dollar surplus while working with a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. When he took office, jobs were leaving the state, when he was finished, thousands of new jobs had been created.
''His efforts in saving the 2002 Winter Olympics from disaster were extraordinary. Asked to take over an event losing sponsors in the midst of a bid-rigging scandal with serious budget problems, he cleaned up the leadership, restored public confidence and trimmed the budget. He did all this while at the same time ensuring the safety of millions at the event in the wake of the 9/11 attacks...
''We have seen three years of economic ignorance by a president who has no grasp or focus of what truly needs to be done. It has been guesses and misses. It's time for a president who knows what to do from day one as we are running out of time for experiments. Governor Romney is the right man for the job.''
"We believe the president's top priority for the next four years will be restoring health and vigor to the American economy, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the Republican candidate best suited to the task.
"Romney, who launched his presidential bid at the Scammans' Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, has proven his financial acumen at every step of his career. He mastered the art of the business turnaround at Bain & Co. in Boston and his success led to his founding of Bain Capital, a private equity fund now overseeing $65 billion in assets...
"When the Salt Lake City Olympics was in trouble, Utah's governor hired Romney to make the rescue. He took over an Olympic organization that was losing so much money so fast, it was considering scaling back events. Romney's leadership transformed the quadrennial games into a winner that turned a $100 million profit...
"We feel confident that, when faced with choices about the direction of our nation's economy and governance, Romney will make sound decisions. And there's no question Romney in the White House will instill confidence in our nation's businesses and financial markets.
"As the Republican governor in Democrat-dominated Massachusetts, Romney eliminated a $3 billion budget deficit and passed a health care law that brought the number of uninsured in the state to less than 2 percent, a remarkable accomplishment...
"On Sunday, Dec. 11, The New York Times carried a story highlighting Romney's lifelong frugality. Despite a net worth estimated at $200 million, he can't bear to waste money. What better attribute could we ask of someone sent to Washington to increase efficiency and reduce government spending? Money not wasted is money that will be put to work rebuilding our nation...
"Finally, it's our observation that Romney is a good man who is not a great politician. He is stiff and lacks the common touch. But the fact is, we're electing a president to tackle highly complex global problems on an hourly basis. It takes an uncommon person with drive, vision, intelligence and integrity to do that job right, and among the Republican candidates, Romney stands head and shoulders above the rest of the field. We encourage our readers to support Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primary Jan. 10."
''The Editorial Board at Foster's, ... were unanimous in their support for Romney.
''Dietterle, as quoted in the editorial, states:
'' "While making our endorsement in the New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary, Foster's Sunday Citizen is not going to spend endless words addressing much of the myth and mythology which has been used to attack Mitt Romney, who we believe should be the Republican nominee for president of the United States.
'' "Our recommendation comes from taking much of what has been said and written in news coverage and slanted blogs with a grain of salt. Instead, we have chosen to read what former Gov. Romney has written. We have sat across the table from him, looked him in the eye and asked some pointed questions. As a result, we like what we see in, and hear from, candidate Romney — thus our endorsement.
'' "Our trust and belief in the governor comes from years of knowing him. Since his last run for the Oval Office, Gov. Romney has grown and matured, as have his positions on the issues and his optimistic view of our country's future prospects."
''Today, more than ever, the United States needs a president willing to listen to the electorate, a president willing to adapt to today's demands for governance, not remain married to methods because they are from a simpler time. By the same token, Foster's wants a president who has core values.
''Instead of just listening as the national media and others dissect Romney ad infinitum, Foster's has read what the governor and businessman has written.
''For a short read, we would direct primary voters to his 160-page jobs and economic growth plan — Believe in America. For a more in-depth look we suggest Romney's book, "No Apology." ...
''None of what is written here should suggest that Romney's past and years of experience should play a secondary role. Just the opposite is true, much of which will be key should he be elected president.
''There is his time at Bain Capital where he learned the whys and wherefores of the business world and the keys to job creation...
''Then there was his time as Massachusetts governor. Some voters of a more conservative bent may hold that against him. We don't. To the contrary, his ability to win office and improve the business climate in the Bay State is seen as herculean in an otherwise one-party Democratic oligarchy...
''And lest we be remiss in crediting Romney's accomplishments that make him better suited than others to be the GOP nominee, there is his turnaround of the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002. Voters must not forget that Romney did, indeed, make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
''Beyond all this, Foster's is endorsing Mitt Romney because he offers a certain moral fortitude we admire.''
"As governor, Mr. Romney had some real accomplishments. To encourage smart growth in a state plagued with sprawl (like Connecticut), Mr. Romney created a super-agency, the Office of Commonwealth Development, to oversee and coordinate the departments of environmental protection, housing and community development, transportation and energy. He appointed Douglas Foy, a longtime environmentalist and head of the Conservation Law Foundation, to direct the agency. It worked well.
"Also, though he speaks of it now like a person confessing a crime, Mr. Romney led the effort to bring near-universal health insurance coverage to the state. It was a highly complex situation: The state was faced with a loss of federal Medicaid funds if it didn't reduce the number of uninsured recipients of health care services. Mr. Romney moved methodically ahead in a bipartisan fashion and got a first-in-the-nation coverage-for-all program through..."
"The Republican governor led the fight to control sprawl and bring more affordable housing to the Bay State with groundbreaking laws and a dramatic reorganization of state agencies. In 2003, he combined transportation, housing, environmental and energy agencies into a super-agency, charged it with stopping runaway suburban growth, then appointed a Democrat environmentalist to run it. By comparison, Connecticut is still nibbling around the edges of smart growth.
"The former venture-capital company CEO and rescuer of the 2002 Winter Olympics also worked with the Democratic legislature to stop job losses and reduce a projected $3 billion budget shortfall. He managed to balance his state's budget without sales or income tax or gas increases. And he streamlined other government agencies — all while maintaining the state's huge accomplishments from a decade of education reforms that put Massachusetts ahead of Connecticut on many academic achievement scores...
"Mark Twain said about Wagner that his music “is better than it sounds.” Mr. Romney is a better leader than his perplexing campaign performance makes him out to be."
"... Although there’s little doubt about the outcome, GOP voters here should back Romney with enthusiasm, confident that the party’s tortuous season of debates and primaries elevated the best of the field to prominence.
"Romney is clearly the potential standard-bearer with the strongest chops to give President Obama a run for his money — and for the money of Americans. Because, on present course, this election will be all about Romney’s advertised strong suit: the economy.
"Which is in the tank...
"Despite a stimulus that spent $800 billion in taxpayer money — pretty much all of it borrowed — there are 5.5 million fewer jobs today than at the start of the Great Recession four years ago.
"Since 2008, some 3 million people have dropped out of the job market entirely; a breathtaking 42% of the jobless haven’t taken home a paycheck for six months or longer.
"And the employed are suffering, as well.
"Disposable income is flat, gas prices are up and health care costs — virtually untouched by the Obama reform bill that expanded coverage — keep rising, eating every last dollar of pay.
"And did we mention? Debt is now 100% of Gross Domestic Product — upward of $47,600 per capita...
"Obama’s political task will be to convince the country that he did as well as could be expected. Meanwhile, Romney is well positioned to challenge Obama’s claims and to present a credible alternative approach..."