Des Moines Register Endorses Mitt Romney For 2012 GOP Nomination

The Des Moines Register, Iowa's biggest and most influential newspaper, announced that it would endorse Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for president. The decision will likely provide a significant boost to Romney ahead of the state's first-in-the-nation GOP caucus, which takes place on January 3.

The endorsement, which will appear in print on Sunday, makes the case that Romney "stands out" among the Republican field in important areas:

Sobriety, wisdom and judgment.

Those are qualities Mitt Romney said he looks for in a leader. Those are qualities Romney himself has demonstrated in his career in business, public service and government. Those qualities help the former Massachusetts governor stand out as the most qualified Republican candidate competing in the Iowa caucuses.

The Register also addresses Romney's reputation as a flip-flopper, arguing that " It should be possible for a politician to say, “I was wrong, and I have changed my mind.” The editorial acknowledges that the issue of healthcare presents a special challenge to the former Massachusetts governor:

He helped create health-care reform in Massachusetts that is strikingly similar to the much-derided “Obamacare,” for example. Yet Romney argues reasonably, though not entirely persuasively, that while all states should be free to experiment with their own reforms, it is wrong for the federal government to force a one-size-fits-all plan on the entire nation.

Romney is locked in a tight race for the Hawkeye State. His primary rivals are Newt Gingrich and libertarian Ron Paul. Just days ago, Gingrich held a commanding lead in Iowa, but a Rasmussen poll released two days ago showed Romney with a small lead.

In 2008, the Register endorsed eventual GOP nominee John McCain.

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