The Chicago Tribune’s endorsement of Barack Obama -- the second time in history the newspaper has gone for a Democrat, after endorsing Obama in 2008 -- is making all the news. But what did you expect the Trib to do? Eighty-five percent of Chicagoans voted for Obama four years ago. The Tribune can’t risk losing any more of its dwindling subscriber base.
But while Obama has his hometown newspaper in his pocket, it’s a different story Downstate. In another indication that Illinois politics has become polarized between the Chicago area and the hinterlands, most newspapers outside the city seem to be backing Mitt Romney -- including two, the Daily Herald and the Quad City Times, which endorsed Obama in 2008.
Daily Herald (Arlington Heights)
In endorsing Illinois’ favorite son in 2008, we declared Obama “has a chance to be a great president.” We said, “He offers a new kind of politics. A politics that breaks down the old partisan walls. A politics that strives to bring people together. A politics of hope.”…
Today, our country is still polarized, our politics is still partisan, our economy slugs along painfully on one of the slowest recoveries in history and the country’s debt threatens our future and the future of our children…
…[Ultimately], we endorse Romney because he, unlike Obama, understands that jobs are a creation of business, not of government. And that to encourage growth, we need policies that incent business growth and provide it with a stable environment for that growth.
…As the voice of the suburbs, we have always embraced this free enterprise philosophy as a bedrock of our principles. We view ourselves as independent, fiscally conservative, socially progressive, an advocate for individual liberty. The Mitt Romney who governed Massachusetts governed it for the most part on those core beliefs as well.
Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale)
The Mideast, however, remains a challenge for the nation with the possibility of Iran creating a nuclear weapon and using it to achieve the regularly stated goal of Iranian president and holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel off the map. Obama sends mixed messages in this area, but it can’t be foretold with certainty that Romney’s assurance of stronger support for Israel will yield better results for the U.S. The region will remain a minefield for the next president, perhaps many to follow.
We suspect, however, that Romney will be more capable of consistently supporting our nation’s allies and consistently standing firm against rogue nations and supporters of terrorism than Obama, who shocked and disappointed many Americans by bowing to foreign leaders and apologizing for past actions by the nation.
For those reasons and for his clearly visible superiority on the remainder of the nation’s most critical issues, The Southern Illinoisan supports the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a U.S. Congressman from Wisconsin. The record of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden simply falls short of what is needed in the next four years. Actions speak louder than words, including the soaring rhetoric of Obama.
In the area of energy independence, Romney and Ryan starkly contrast with Obama, who shackled the coal industry through EPA rule-making, unwisely spiked the Keystone pipeline and inhibited the use of federal lands for oil exploration and drilling and for off-shore drilling. Romney offers a vision of continued green energy research and development along with North American energy independence in eight years; Obama went all-in on risky and unproven wind and solar ventures. Gasoline today is nearly $4 per gallon; it was less than $2 when he took office.
Quad City Times (Rock Island and Moline)
We invested heavily in hope back in 2008.
Our 2012 endorsement of Mitt Romney comes with an imperative for change.
The change that we’d hoped would elevate our economy wound up woefully short. The presidential gambit to place health-care reform ahead of economic recovery jeopardized both. President Barack Obama expended all of the presidential leadership on muscling through health care reform, leaving little for implementation and none for significant economic recovery…
Our hopeful 2008 endorsement went to a promising up ’n comer over a lackluster challenger who botched his first big presidential decision by picking an unqualified running mate. Sen. John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin struck us, and apparently millions of undecided voters, as a calculated political ploy, not a credible presidential successor.
This year, the Republican ticket is led by a candidate with a proven record of moderate governance, legislative leadership and compromise. Mitt Romney arrives at the presidency with global leadership experience and a track record of turnarounds.
No need to rely on hope. His record includes evidence of change. He changed the trajectory of a failing U.S. Winter Olympics. He changed the path of Massachusetts with a health care plan we admire, even if Romney is now less than enthused.
statements and our personal meetings with the candidates during this and the 2007 caucus campaigns.
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake)
The Republicans’ nominee for president, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, represents a return to America’s founding principles: Personal responsibility, smaller government, more people contributing to the overall good of the nation.
His record as governor of Massachusetts is better than Obama’s as president.
Romney became governor in 2003, during a recession and with a large majority of Democrats controlling the state’s Legislature. His state faced a $1.5 billion budget deficit.
Through effective cost-cutting, user fee increases, and a restructuring of state government, Romney balanced the state’s budget in just one year. He also fought to reduce the state’s income tax, arguing that it would help create private-sector jobs and increase state revenue, but the Democratic legislature wouldn’t let him do it.
Before he was elected governor, Romney was a hugely successful businessman. He co-founded Bain Capital and built it into the giant investment firm it is today.
While opponents paint Romney and Bain as greedy corporate raiders out to squeeze struggling companies out of every penny, the fact is that Bain invested in many startup companies that today successfully employ tens of thousands of Americans. Romney and Bain also invested in financially struggling businesses, turning them around and saving thousands more jobs.
Sauk Valley Newspapers (Dixon, Sterling and Rock Falls):
When voters go to the polls Nov. 6 to elect our next president, the questions they should ask are these:
Which candidate will best be able to lead the U.S out of the economic funk it has been in the past 5 years? Who can better help the private sector grow jobs?
Who has the ideas and the will to reduce our massive debt and eliminate annual budget deficits?
Who will best be able to get the country’s economic engines turning again?
…We endorse Mitt Romney.