Total Pageviews

Friday, October 19, 2012

Romney Receives Endorsement of Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. â€" Mitt Romney, who often grouses that he is simultaneously running against President Obama and the mainstream media, will be greeted upon his arrival in Florida on Friday by a headline with which he cannot quarrel: The Orlando Sentinel is endorsing him.

Four years after The Sentinel, central Florida's largest newspaper, endorsed Barack Obama's candidacy for president, the newspaper's editorial page said Mr. Romney is the better choice this time.

“We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years,” the editorial in Friday's edition said. “For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race.”

A little more than two weeks before the election, newspaper endorsements are steadily trickling in across the country. Both campaigns have spent considerable time trying to win endorsements, particularly f rom newspapers in battleground states, like The Sentinel.

The Obama campaign has assigned top advisers to talk with editorial boards, trying to win endorsements from the newspapers that supported his candidacy in 2008. Mr. Romney has also been meeting with some editorial boards during campaign trips. The campaigns are bracing this weekend for several newspaper endorsements to be released in key states.

The recommendation of Mr. Romney by The Sentinel, whose readers live in a battleground area within a battleground state, stopped short of being a ringing endorsement. But the editorial page firmly declared that it was time for a change in the White House, arguing that Mr. Romney's business experience and record of leadership prepared him for the Oval Office.

“Romney is not our ideal candidate for president,” the editorial said. “We've been turned off by his appeals to social conservatives and immigration extremists. Like most presidential hopefuls, in cluding Obama four years ago, Romney faces a steep learning curve on foreign policy.”

He is expected to tout the endorsement on Friday when he arrives for a campaign visit in Daytona Beach. He will stay in Florida until Monday, when he meets Mr. Obama for the third presidential debate in Boca Raton.

Florida, with its 29 electoral votes, is the biggest battleground state in the nation. The editorial made clear that its endorsement was for one campaign cycle at a time.

“This is Romney's time to lead, again,” the editorial said. “If he doesn't produce results - even with a hostile Senate - we'll be ready in 2016 to get behind someone else who will.”

Follow Jeff Zeleny on Twitter at @jeffzeleny.