The Des Moines Register announced in an editorial released on Saturday night that it would back Mitt Romney in 2012. It implored readers to give Romney "a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington and the rest of America."
The influential paper, Iowa's largest, backed President Obama in 2008, and had not endorsed a Republican candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972.
The editorial focuses primarily on the two candidates' competing economic visions. It criticized Obama's desire for more federal spending, and charged that "the president’s best efforts to resuscitate the stumbling economy have fallen short." It also raps him for abandoning efforts to work with Republicans.
What voters need, the paper concludes, is something new, which only Romney can provide:
There is not a lot of difference between the two candidates’ short-term economic plans, as both are heavy on a promise of tax cuts for the middle class but short on details. Romney’s plan, however, goes beyond helping the middle class with tax breaks.
Throughout the campaign, he has expressed faith in the private sector to fuel a more robust economic recovery if it has more confidence that the federal government will not be an obstacle. Romney has a strategy for job growth through tax and regulatory relief for small businesses, encouraging all forms of domestic energy production, education that prepares graduates with job skills, expanding foreign trade and reducing the burden of federal deficits.
That formula, coupled with his business acumen, should unlock this nation’s economic potential.
Iowa has special significance for Obama; it was where he won his first 2008 caucus, which launched him on the path to the presidency. He carried the state in the general election that year, and has been leading narrowly in recent polls.