The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, supporters of then-Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy in 2008, announced its endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday.
In dropping Obama for Romney, the Sun-Sentinel becomes the second large Florida daily to give up on the president in 2012. Last week, the Orlando Sentinel also announced its endorsement of Romney after supporting Obama in 2008. The Tampa Tribune also threw its support behind Romney, while the Tampa Bay Times, the largest Florida daily, stuck with Obama in 2012 after endorsing him in 2008.
In an editorial that takes an almost reluctant tone at times, the Sun-Sentinel's board sums up their decision as one driven by a belief that the nation's foremost priority should be righting its fiscal ship. It should do this, they write, by focusing on job creation, addressing the national debt and reforming entitlements.
"We believe Romney will help this nation find the political will to address the challenges with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," writes the board. "We’d like to see him exercise equal fiscal discipline at the Pentagon, whose budget has grown 50 percent in 10 years and exceeds that of the next 10 largest nations combined."
The second part is perhaps wishful thinking, considering Romney's clearly stated position that he would like to increase military spending, while Obama has proposed maintaining it at its current levels.
It's also not the only curious argument made in support of Romney, criticized in the endorsement for pandering to the Republican Party's immigration hardliners and appearing aloof during a foreign tour this summer. The board then goes on to claim that "diplomacy must remain the first, second and third tools in our toolbox," saying Romney proved himself worthy of this goal in the final presidential debate.
The editors also make a point of noting that the next president will likely decide the makeup of the Supreme Court, going as far as to question whether that will put "women's rights and other policies in danger," though in the next sentence the board says social issues are not "Job One" for the next president.
(Read the entire editorial at the Sun-Sentinel.)