Salt Lake Tribune, the leading newspaper in Mormon country, knocks Romney and endorses Obama

THIS strikes me as a shocker:

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.

But it was Romney’s singular role in rescuing Utah’s organization of the 2002 Olympics from a cesspool of scandal, and his oversight of the most successful Winter Games on record, that make him the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son. After all, Romney managed to save the state from ignominy, turning the extravaganza into a showcase for the matchless landscapes, volunteerism and efficiency that told the world what is best and most beautiful about Utah and its people.

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.


And what of the president Romney would replace? For four years, President Barack Obama has attempted, with varying degrees of success, to pull the nation out of its worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression, a deepening crisis he inherited the day he took office.

In the first months of his presidency, Obama acted decisively to stimulate the economy. His leadership was essential to passage of the badly needed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Though Republicans criticize the stimulus for failing to create jobs, it clearly helped stop the hemorrhaging of public sector jobs. The Utah Legislature used hundreds of millions in stimulus funds to plug holes in the state’s budget.


In considering which candidate to endorse, The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem-solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago. Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb. Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust.

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.



  1. Having traveled to Utah often over the years (no, I am not Mormon) I believe the SLC Tribune is the more liberal of the 2 major newspaper’s in the state and I know they also endorsed Obama in 2008.

  2. The Salt Lake Tribune has always been liberal since it was bought by out of state anti-Mormons in 1873. Check Wikipedia’s page on them. They nearly always endorse Democrats. That the left is trying to jump on this as propaganda is laughable. Desperate much?

  3. KG: Just last month, the Salt Lake Tribune endorsed Orrin Hatch for re-election to the Senate.

    I don’t think Hatch is a Democrat. You might want check into that.

  4. Why is this a shocker? As a reporter, isn’t it your job to do research? The Salt lake Tribune is a very left leaning newspaper. The Deseret News, the other Salt Lake paper, is the LDS owned paper, and is very conservative leaning.

    I’m disappointed in your story.

  5. The SL Trib is a lefty rag. barf on your “journalism”

  6. To you Utahans who scoff at the Salt Lake Tribune’s endorsement of Obama: I still find it interesting that this so-called liberal paper outsells all others in the most Mormon state in the Union.

    If it’s a “lefty rag,” as John says, why do so many people read it? How does this paper survive in one of the most conservative Republican states in the country?

  7. Don’t guess, it just makes you look bad. Get yerself some of that “lernin”.

    If nothing else, go to wiki to start. It started as an Anti Mormon newspaper back in the 1870’s and continues that effort today. It’s own masthead trumpets daily: “Utah’s Independent Voice Since 1871.”

    Salt Lake City is definitely not majority Mormon or Conservative. You have to get outside of the city get real Utah values. It’s like most populace centers in the US. They tend to go blue every election. SLC voted for Obama last time around, whereas the State in general, he came in last in the country.

    Hope that helps.

  8. Also, there’s a huge gay community in Salt Lake, which serves as an “in your face” effort to the Mormon headquarters, which is located there.

    Remember mayor Rocky Anderson?? Does that help you understand just how liberal Salt Lake proper is?

  9. Jim Hefner

    If it’s a “lefty rag,” as John says, why do so many people read it?

    The same reason people read the nonsense you write. Also the SLT endorsed Obama in 2008 so why is this a shocker?

  10. Jim Hefner: Let me explain this so that even you can understand:

    It’s a shocker because of Romney’s many ties to Salt Lake City, as others have noted. His mother was born and raised there. His parents met and fell in love there. He went to college there. He met his wife there. He was married there. His church is headquartered there. He ran an Olympics there.

    Nor am I the only one surprised by the Tribune’s endorsement of Obama. Yes, the paper endorsed Obama four years ago, but he wasn’t running against a Mormon with so many affiliations with Salt Lake City.

    Incidentally, I’ve noticed that you and the other commenters in this thread haven’t addressed the specific points the Tribune made in its editorial. All you’ve offered is just hollow right-wing bluster.

    Why don’t you try to dispute what the paper said about Romney?

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