Mitt Romney has received the Des Moines Register’s endorsement for the Iowa Caucus.
While enumerating the qualities the editorial board felt made Romney deserving of their support they said, in part:
Mitt Romney is making his second bid for Iowans’ support after an unsuccessful run in 2008. We did not endorse him then, but this is a different field, and he has matured as a candidate. Rebuilding the economy is the nation’s top priority, and Romney makes the best case among the Republicans that he could do that.
Romney is accused of being a “flip-flopper.” He has evolved from one-time independent to moderate Republican in liberal Massachusetts to proud conservative today. He does not deny changing his position on some issues, but he will say he has made mistakes and has learned from them. Though Romney has tended to adapt some positions to different times and places, he is hardly unique. It should be possible for a politician to say, “I was wrong, and I have changed my mind.”
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.
In considering the other current candidates, the editors wrote:
Michele Bachmann: An impressive fireball who can absorb and regurgitate tons of information, even if some of it turns out to be inaccurate.
Newt Gingrich: Between the books he’s read and the books he’s written, Gingrich juggles endless ideas, but he has yet to make the case he could focus his attention on the important ones.
Ron Paul: A well-schooled contrarian who shouldn’t be written off as a nut, even if some of his ideas are nutty.
Rick Perry: After some debate stumbles, he asks voters to take a second look, but it may take more than that.
Rick Santorum: He’d use the presidential bully pulpit to be the nation’s minister-in-chief.
We’ll see on January 3, 2012, if Iowa agrees with the Des Moines Register.