Many of this year’s endorsements of Barack Obama for president are laced with caveats, but the tone of the Los Angeles Times and General Colin Powell are far more enthusiastic than many others. While endorsements from the Times and Powell occasionally mention an item or two in which they would have preferred a different policy by the president, they basically provide the obvious reasons to give him strong support over Mitt Romney. They recognize that President Obama came into office following a devastating eight years under the leadership of President George W. Bush. They further note that over the past two years, the president’s ability to enact his agenda has been challenging because of almost complete obstruction by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The Times and Powell do not blame Obama for either the situation that he inherited or what he has faced in trying to be reasonable with an obstinate House.
Regarding the economy, in an interview with CBS This Morning, Powell makes his position very clear:
Well you know I voted for him [Obama] in 2008. and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I will be voting for him and Vice-President Joe Biden. When he [Obama] took over, the country was in very difficult straits, buried in one of the deepest recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing; Wall Street was in chaos; we had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama Administration, and unemployment would peak in a few months at 10%. The auto industry was collapsing; the housing industry was starting to collapse and we were in difficult straits, and I saw over the next several years stabilization come back, housing is now starting to pick up, consumer confidence is rising. And so I think that generally we’ve come out of the dive.
As I listen to Mitt Ronney’s proposals, especially with regard to dealing with our most significant issue, the economy, it’s essentially “let’s cut taxes” and compensate for that with other things, but that compensation did not cover all the cuts intended or the new expenses associated with defense.
Despite Republicans’ persistent obstructionism, he [Obama] pushed for — and enacted — stronger safeguards against another Wall Street meltdown and abusive financial industry practices. He cut the cost of student loans, persuaded auto manufacturers to take an almost unimaginable leap in fuel efficiency by 2025 and offered a temporary reprieve from deportation to young immigrants brought into the country illegally by their parents. He ended the morally bankrupt “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that had institutionalized discrimination against gays in the military.
The race between Obama and Romney presents a stark choice. Romney wants to cut taxes, spending and regulations in the hope that the mix of stimulus and austerity will spark growth and reduce the federal deficit. Obama wants to trim spending but raise taxes on high-income Americans, shrinking the deficit without sacrificing investments in the country’s productive capacity or curtailing Washington’s role in protecting the vulnerable.
Both the Times and General Powell praise President Obama for his handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same, time Romney has made confusing, incoherent, and inconsistent remarks regarding both wars.
I saw the president get us out of one war and start to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars. Finally I think that the actions he has taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid.
According to the LA Times,
He [Obama] has confronted two inherited wars and the deepest recession since the Great Depression. He brought America’s misguided adventure in Iraq to an end and arrested the economic downturn (though he did not fully reverse it) with the 2009 fiscal stimulus and a high-risk strategy to save the U.S. automobile industry. He secured passage of a historic healthcare reform law — the most important social legislation since Medicare.
The LA Times concludes its endorsement this way:
Voters face a momentous choice in November between two candidates offering sharply different prescriptions for what ails the country. Obama’s recalls the successful formula of the 1990s, when the government raised taxes and slowed spending to close the deficit. The alternative offered by Romney would neglect the country’s infrastructure and human resources for the sake of yet another tax cut and a larger defense budget than even the Pentagon is seeking. The Times urges voters to reelect Obama.
Powell also gives and unequivocal endorsement to Obama. Many are surprised that Powell has endorsed Obama twice. because Powell is a Republican and has a military background. But Powell was in the out crowd during the Bush administration, because he did not share values and policies with the foreign policy neo-cons. Powell’s views go beyond foreign affairs. He recognizes that there are limitations to American power if the United States is not strong at home. Therefore. he supports activist policies in the U.S. to further stimulate the economy for both the poor and the middle class. What is surprising is not Powell’s support of Obama but rather his connection with the Republican Party, something he did not sign on for until leaving the military.
It’s difficult to find two more credible sources of endorsement for President Obama than the Los Angeles Times and Colin Powell. Hopefully, the American people will listen to these voices of reason and compassion and follow their lead in supporting President Barack Obama.