The Detroit Free Press on Thursday became the second of Mitt Romney's two "hometown" newspapers to endorse the GOP candidate, but the editorial board seemed to do so with great reluctance.
While the paper noted its endorsement "should be a slam dunk" for the Michigan native, it didn't echo the mostly enthusiastic backing Romney received from the Detroit News on Wednesday. The Free Press's editorial authors had a few bones to pick with Romney:
For the past 12 months, Romney has been refashioning himself as something other than what his record suggests. He has made gestures toward economic and social radicalism, and eschewed the common sense of cooperative governing that made him a success in Massachusetts.
Romney was also dead wrong when he opposed government bailouts for the auto industry (Michigan’s most vital economic engine) in late 2008. And he has since adopted a recalcitrant and, at times, revisionist defense of his position in the face of overwhelming evidence that the bailouts he opposed were necessary.
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.