CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Remarkably, the Salt Lake Tribune -- flagship newspaper in the very heart of Mormon territory -- denounced Mormon Republican Mitt Romney as a "shameless ... shape-shifting" panderer, and endorsed incumbent Democrat Barack Obama for president.
This political bombshell is making waves across America.
In a long Friday editorial, the Tribune<P> said Romney will say anything to get elected, as revealed "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 Utah paper said Romney "is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear." The editorial continued:
"More troubling, Romney has repeatedly refused to share specifics of his radical plan to simultaneously reduce the debt, get rid of ObamaCare (or, as he now says, only part of it), make a voucher program of Medicare, slash taxes and spending, and thereby create millions of new jobs."
The Tribune said Romney's master plan is "utterly meaningless" as long as he won't reveal what government programs he intends to reduce. His only solid promise is "billions more for the military," it added. His "domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust."
The newspaper also scorned Romney's "branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, yet feel victimized and entitled to government assistance" -- so his task "is not to worry about those people."
In contrast, the paper said: "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."
The Tribune praised Obama as "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." It concluded:
"The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first."
We second this stunning motion.