DETROIT, MI -- For the second time in a day, a top Michigan newspaper has endorsed Mitt Romney in next Tuesday’s GOP primary here -- while noting reservations about the former Massachusetts governor’s opposition to the 2008 auto bailout.
Citing his “leadership credentials” in his public and private careers, the Grand Rapids Press this afternoon writes that Romney’s “free-market, entrepreneurial emphasis provides a legitimate ideological counterpoint to Obama Administration.”
The editors of the newspaper also point to what they call “flaws” in Romney’s record, including his opposition to the auto bailout.
“Also disappointing are inconsistencies in his message, which The Press editorial board addressed in 2008, when it endorsed Romney for that year’s primary election,” the editors added.
But the newspaper -- which covers the conservative, western portion of the state -- reserves its sharpest criticism for Romney’s chief challenger, Rick Santorum, whom it accuses of “delving into a grab bag of diversionary tactics” during recent campaign stops.
“His accusing Obama of practicing ‘some phony theology’ is off-topic and divisive,” the editors write of Santorum’s oft-quoted remarks in Ohio last weekend.
Earlier today, the Detroit News also endorsed Romney while making clear it disagreed with him on the auto bailouts.
A third Michigan newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, will announce its endorsement in the GOP primary Thursday morning.