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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Newspapers in Salt Lake City, Tampa and Denver Endorse Obama

Mitt Romney may be something of a Utah native son, having helped turn around the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games, attended Brigham Young University and once owning property there. But on Friday, The Salt Lake Tribune tossed its support to President Obama, in a editorial titled “Too Many Mitts.”

Though the endorsement begins by acknowledging Mr. Romney's Utah and Salt Lake Olympics bona fides - “Romney managed to save the state from ignominy, turning the extravaganza into a showcase for the matchless landscapes, volunteerism and efficiency that told the world what is best and most beautiful about Utah and its people,” reads the second paragraph - the tone quickly changes. The editorial calls Mr. Romney a “shape-shifting nominee” and adds that the major question of the campaign is, ““Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”

“Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience,” reads the editorial. “Romn ey, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.”

The Tribune editorial page, which endorsed Mr. Obama four years ago but went with President George W. Bush before that, concludes: “Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.”

Mr. Romney's campaign declined to comment on the endorsement.

Mr. Obama picked up two other major newspaper endorsements Friday; both The Denver Post and The Tampa Bay Times threw their support to the president.

The Denver Post cited Mr. Romney's secretly recorded comments at a closed fund-raiser in May, in which he said he believed that 47 percent of Americans cons ider themselves “victims” and are dependent on the government, as one of the factors in their decision.

“His comments on the 47 percent of Americans who refuse to ‘take personal responsibility and care for their lives' were a telling insight into his views and a low point of the campaign,” The Post wrote. “Obama, on the other hand, has shown throughout his term that he is a steady leader who keeps the interests of a broad array of Americans in mind.”

The Orlando Sentinel, however, endorsed Mr. Romney, a flip from its 2008 support of Mr. Obama.

“We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years,” The Sentinel wrote. “For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race.”

Follow Ashley Parker on Twitter at @AshleyRParker.