The editorial staff of The Detroit News, one of Michigan’s two largest news outlets, endorsed Mitt Romney for president Thursday, opting for the Republican despite President Obama’s role in the auto industry bailout.
The newspaper cited his economic success in its selection of Mr. Romney, a Michigan native son whose father was governor. It said the Republican presidential nominee offered “the best hope of changing the nation’s fate.” The endorsement follows on similar nods for Mr. Romney from the Detroit Free Press, the Grand Rapids Press and the Chicago Tribune.
“Had Obama done as well with the rest of the economy, it would be hard to deny him a second term,” the News wrote in an editorial. “But Obama said himself in a midterm television interview that if by the end of his first term the economy was still broken, he should not be re-elected. Well, the economy is still broken, and we have lost confidence in the president’s ability to make the necessary repairs.”
The News said Mr. Romney was wrong in his suggestion that General Motors Corp. and Chrysler should be allowed to reform under a structured bankruptcy, and it credited Mr. Obama for offering much-needed bridge loans that allowed the automakers time to figure out a new way forward. But the paper also said a change in presidential leadership could benefit the auto industry of the future — and one that will always face tough challenges in a global marketplace.
“Romney understands the industry, and will shield it from regulators who never tire of churning out new layers of mandates,” the News said. “It is important to remember that the automobile industry is never truly ‘saved;’ there are always new challenges. Romney will be an advocate for Detroit, and if he can make the overall economy stronger, Michigan and the automakers will benefit greatly.”
The paper noted that the nation is struggling to determine its future course and how it defines itself in the world:
“A country built on rugged individualism finds itself increasingly under the thumb of a federal government that is ever expanding its reach into the lives of its citizens,” the paper said. “Obama has proved himself a disciple of the doctrine that for every problem there’s a government solution. Romney, by contrast, embraces individual initiative and entrepreneurship. He would turn back the encroachment of the bureaucracy into the private sector. Romney would replace the heavy hand of government with the invisible hand of a rational marketplace working to produce broad prosperity.”