American voters are deeply divided about this race. The Register’s editorial board, as it should, had a vigorous debate over this endorsement. Our discussion repeatedly circled back to the nation’s single most important challenge: pulling the economy out of the doldrums, getting more Americans back in the workforce in meaningful jobs with promising futures, and getting the federal government on a track to balance the budget in a bipartisan manner that the country demands.
Which candidate could forge the compromises in Congress to achieve these goals? When the question is framed in those terms, Mitt Romney emerges the stronger candidate.
The former governor and business executive has a strong record of achievement in both the private and the public sectors. He was an accomplished governor in a liberal state. He founded and ran a successful business that turned around failing companies. He successfully managed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Romney has made rebuilding the economy his No. 1 campaign priority — and rightly so.
[...]Early in his administration, President Obama reached out to Republicans but was rebuffed. Since then, he has abandoned the effort, and the partisan divide has hardened. That has hampered not only the economy, but the entire country. We remain a nation of red states and blue states.
[...] Barack Obama rocketed to the presidency from relative obscurity with a theme of hope and change. A different reality has marked his presidency. His record on the economy the past four years does not suggest he would lead in the direction the nation must go in the next four years.
From phillyburbs.com, home of the Philadelphia Intelligencer, which endorsed Obama in 2008:
As one of our board members stated, “My vote for Romney is a vote against Obama and the Democratic Party, which controlled Congress since January 3, 2007 through January 3, 2011. During that time, not one budget was passed, not one plan was put forward to tell us how the Democrats will deal with the skyrocketing deficit. This demonstrates a total lack of leadership on the most important issue of our country’s future." Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen said it best when he called the deficit: "The biggest single threat to national security."
For those reasons a majority of our editorial board endorses Mitt Romney for president.
And this from The Orlando Sentinel, which endorsed Obama in 2008:
And while the nation's economy is still sputtering nearly four years after Obama took office, the federal government is more than $5 trillion deeper in debt. It just racked up its fourth straight 13-figure shortfall.
We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years. For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race.
Obama's defenders would argue that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, and would have made more progress if not for obstruction from Republicans in Congress. But Democrats held strong majorities in the House and Senate during his first two years.
Other presidents have succeeded even with the other party controlling Capitol Hill. Democrat Bill Clinton presided over an economic boom and balanced the budget working with Republicans. Leaders find a way.
With Obama in charge, the federal government came perilously close to a default last year. Now it's lurching toward another crisis with the impending arrival of massive tax hikes and spending cuts on Jan. 1.
The next president is likely to be dealing with a Congress where at least one, if not both, chambers are controlled by Republicans. It verges on magical thinking to expect Obama to get different results in the next four years.
[...]We reject the innuendo that some critics have heaped on the president. We don't think he's a business-hating socialist. We don't think he's intent on weakening the American military. We don't think he's unpatriotic. And, no, we don't think he was born outside the United States.
But after reflecting on his four years in the White House, we also don't think that he's the best qualified candidate in this race.
We endorse Mitt Romney for president.