President Obama's first term was hardly perfect, argues The Washington Post, but he is still by far the superior choice.
So far, 35 of the 72 largest newspapers by circulation have endorsed President Obama's re-election. All but one also endorsed him in 2008. Here are some of the arguments they are making for why voters should choose the Democratic ticket:
What the editorials said
"Think back," said the Chicago Tribune. As President Obama took ofï¬ce in January 2009, the economy was in free fall. "Employers retrenched. Jobs vanished. Home values plummeted." No leader, least of all a "rookie president," could have foreseen how far we would fall, or how difficult it would be to come back. But Barack Obama, "with quick study and sure gait," has created the conditions for a real recovery. Not just by stimulus spending, but also by cutting payroll taxes on small businesses, creating investment tax credits, and agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts. Now look at where we are: The stock market is up, consumer confidence is returning, and the unemployment rate has fallen steadily from 10 percent at the height of the recession to 7.8 percent today. Yes, Obama has "vast unfinished business" left to do. But he, and not Mitt Romney, is the best candidate to do it.
Obama's pragmatic centrism may have disappointed some liberals, said The New Yorker, but few can deny his "run of ambitious legislative, social, and foreign policy successes." The $767 billion stimulus bill helped "reset the course of the economy." The Dodd-Frank bill tightened regulations on Wall Street, making another crash less likely. And his health-care reform bill did something five Democratic presidents before him failed to do — guarantee universal access to medical care. It is the "single greatest expansion of the social safety net since the advent of Medicare and Medicaid." And on foreign policy, said the Montgomery, Ala., Advertiser, Obama's "calm, analytical style" has helped redefine our relationship with an increasingly complex world. It has also delivered notable successes: the killing of Osama bin Laden, the decimation of al Qaeda's leadership, and the end of our "profoundly mistaken" war in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney's campaign for president presents a troubling question, said the Salt Lake Tribune. "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?" Romney has revealed himself to be a "shameless" chameleon who will "say anything to get elected" — including telling fellow millionaires that 47 percent of Americans are "freeloaders." Voters may not know what Romney really believes, said The New York Times, "but they know the Republican Party, and a Romney administration would reflect its agenda" — turning back the clock for minorities, women, and gays, while imposing "reckless budget cuts" on the government and "30-year-old, discredited trickle-down ideas" on the economy.
Obama's first term was hardly perfect, said The Washington Post. The president can be "both arrogant and thin-skinned," and he has failed to provide leadership on immigration reform and climate change, as he promised. But "economic headwinds" and a Republican Party committed to a "scorched-earth campaign against him" have made his many achievements even more impressive. The president is committed to reducing our crippling deficit "in a balanced way," offering a mix of spending cuts and modest tax increases. Romney, on the other hand, has presented a deceptive economic proposal relying heavily on 20 percent, across-the-board tax cuts "which deny math." Obama is "by far the superior choice."
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