The Salt Lake Tribune endorsed President Obama for reelection Friday, with an editorial that was highly critical of Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who is as close to being a favorite son candidate from Utah, the historic and cultural center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as a non-resident can be.
The Tribune, published by MediaNews Group, criticized Romney’s “servile courtship of the Tea Party’’ to win his party’s nomination and called him “shameless’’ in pandering to various constituencies, terming him the GOP’s “shape-shifting nominee.’’
“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 editorial states. It also said he “has repeatedly refused to share specifics’’ of many of his proposals.
The endorsement begins, “Nowhere has Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the presidency been more warmly welcomed or closely followed than here in Utah. The Republican nominee’s political and religious pedigrees, his adeptly bipartisan governorship of a Democratic state, and his head for business and the bottom line all inspire admiration and hope in our largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly state.’’ It goes on to praise him lavishly for his rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake and described Romney as “the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son.’’
The newspaper also endorsed Obama in 2008 over Republican rival John McCain.
In other endorsements, the Orlando Sentinel in Florida Friday endorsed Romney and the Denver Post in Colorado endorsed the president for reelection.