President Obama picked up the endorsement of several high-profile newspapers today, but the first one is more likely to leave a mark on Mitt Romney as it comes from the Salt Lake Tribune of Utah. And it's more savage than even your average Democratic takedown of Mitt Romney.
Emphasis is mine.
In short, this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.
Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"
The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear. [...]
Where, we ask, is the pragmatic, inclusive Romney, the Massachusetts governor who left the state with a model health care plan in place, the Romney who led Utah to Olympic glory? That Romney skedaddled and is nowhere to be found. [...]
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.
The second endorsement comes from the Denver Post of Colorado, and while the Post's endorsement is not as damning of Mitt Romney as the Salt Lake Tribune's, the editorial board did urge readers to vote for President Obama.
And though there is much in Mitt Romney's résumé to suggest he is a capable problem-solver, the Republican nominee has not presented himself as a leader who will bring his party closer to the center at a time when that is what this country needs.
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.
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.
We urge Coloradans to re-elect him to a second term.
Will either of these endorsements make a difference? Obviously Utah is not going to vote for President Obama, but Colorado is still somewhat up in the air, with polls showing it as leaning in the president's favor.
The Post's endorsement, which paints the president as the one who is more likely to entertain the center, is well suited to a state that is, more or less, situated in the center both electorally and geographically.
A third endorsement comes from the Tampa Bay Times, which weighs heavily on the president's accomplishments in foreign policy, immigration, and social progress in stark contrast to Mitt Romney who, for most of the campaign, pretended to be "severely conservative."
The differences on social issues are stark. With congressional Republicans forcing a stalemate on immigration, Obama took the initiative to let young undocumented immigrants of promise stay in this country legally if they are in school, high school graduates or serve in the military.
In contrast, Romney suggested a policy of "self-deportation'' but now acknowledges 11 million illegal immigrants cannot be sent to their home countries. He says he would not revoke exemptions granted under Obama's order but would not allow new ones. Any hope for broad immigration reform to keep and attract the best and the brightest regardless of their birthplace lies with the incumbent Democrat.
Polls currently leave a giant question mark above the state of Florida, with some showing Mitt Romney with a healthy lead while others show President Obama with a healthy lead. An endorsement from the Tampa Bay Times may not tip the scale, but it certainly couldn't hurt.
The common theme among each of these endorsements is that they consider Romney's previous positions, which are positions he held for the overwhelming majority of the campaign, and compares them with President Obama who has been consistent for more than four years now.
We know what the president stands for, but as the Salt lake City Tribune said in regards to Mitt Romney -- "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"