Fresno Bee endorsement: Barack Obama

The Fresno BeeNovember 1, 2012 

We certainly understand voters' desire for change in our national government. President Barack Obama has largely failed to achieve the hope and positive change that he promised in 2008. We've had an extremely bumpy road for the past four years -- not all of it is of the president's making.

Obama's centerpiece accomplishment was health care reform, and we have supported that goal because of the dysfunctional health insurance system. But the president's plan was rammed through Congress, leaving many unanswered questions and the likelihood of many unintended consequences. Obama failed to learn lessons from the health care debacle led by Hillary Clinton in 1994, and the passage of the Affordable Care Act cost the Democrats their House majority in the 2010 midterm elections.

Mitt Romney claims to offer an alternative choice as a fiscal conservative who understands the economy. "Fiscal conservative" sounds good to us, especially in a man who has previously acted as a moderate. But pretending to be a staunch conservative and backpedalling on his Massachusetts health care legislation in the Republican primary was disingenuous and diminished his credibility. He has switched positions on issues so many times that we're not sure what Romney actually stands for.

As the election approaches, we find ourselves with a poor choice of presidential candidates offered by Republicans and Democrats in their nomination process. But to make a change, you must have a viable alternative.

Despite his C-minus performance as president in his first term, there still are reasons to vote for Obama.

We support a second term largely because he has delivered on pledges to end the war in Iraq, and hunt down al-Qaida leaders, including removing Osama bin Laden as a world menace.

Let's remember that the foreign policy disasters created by the Bush administration were a heavy burden for an incoming president.

When Obama took office, he also faced a mortgage meltdown and the worst economic recession in generations. He prevented two automakers from going bankrupt and stopped a larger Wall Street catastrophe. Not surprisingly, Obama's modest "stimulus" plan was fought every step of the way by Republicans in Congress.

The Republican strategy was to block all of the president's efforts at economic recovery, even if it kept unemployment high for an extended period, and hurt Americans needing jobs.

Romney's economic strategy is straightforward: Give tax cuts to the rich, and hope the economy is spurred for the rest of Americans through this trickle-down plan.

He also wants to repeal health care reform, even though it mirrors his own Massachusetts health care reform package, and reshape Social Security and Medicare. Romney also seems too willing to have a war with Iran.

Romney is not the alternative that the nation needs, and that's why we are supporting President Obama for re-election.

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