In a world of increasingly partisan media outlets, one political endorsement today may come as a rare surprise: Salt Lake City’s largest newspaper has endorsed President Barack Obama.
In an editorial entitled “Too Many Mitts,” the Salt Lake Tribune’s editorial board writes that, despite serving a “largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly state,” it cannot support Utah’s “favorite adopted son.” The editors say the Romney they held in such high esteem during the 2002 Winter Olympics has since “skedaddled.”
“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 editors write.
The editorial, which spends more time arguing against Romney than it does for Obama, already has drawn 186 reader comments since it was published less than two hours ago.
Outside of the Tribune’s office, the Beehive State is so red that it’s hard to find a recent presidential election poll of the state’s voters. Sen. John McCain of Arizona received 62 percent of the vote to Obama’s 35 percent in 2008. The 2010 Census found that 62.2 percent of Utah residents are Mormon, according to the Tribune.
But history and religion clearly aren’t holding the editorial board back.
“The president has earned a second term,” the endorsement concludes. “Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.”