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2012 election coverage

With all the red tape and red ink in Washington, D.C., the nation needs a fiscal conservative in the Oval Office. Between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, it's obvious which candidate best fits that description.

Campaigning polarizes candidates as they strive to distinguish themselves from each other. Hopefully, the next president will move toward the middle of the road after the election.

So now we must look at the bedrock of where they came from and what they have accomplished.

Romney has the executive experience needed for this job. Not only did he serve as governor – a good training ground for presidential candidates – but he also has extensive and successful private sector experience in making money, not just spending it.

Before Obama was elected four years ago, he had little executive experience. His resume as a community organizer with just a few years in the Illinois Senate and U.S. Senate did not prepare him for the Oval Office. Obama has gained executive experience in the last four years, but he has made too many missteps and failed to keep many promises made while seeking election in 2008. His decision to postpone approval of the Keystone XL is a good example of this. Instead of creating jobs, he created more red tape.

And make no mistake. This election is about righting the nation's economic ship.

Romney promises to issue an executive order on Day 1 that could immediately eliminate Obama-era regulations that unduly hamper job creation. The federal government shouldn't be in the business of job creation – leave that to the private sector – but it does need to put policies in place that foster economic growth.

That includes not just cutting red tape but consuming less red ink as well.

Pulling back the reins on federal spending is an urgent task, one that Romney promises to address by proposing an immediate 5 percent cut in non-security discretionary spending. He must not consider military spending a sacred cow, either. As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wind down, it stands to reason that military spending must shrink as well.

That's not failing to support the troops, but rather returning the Pentagon back to normal.

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We acknowledge normal was a long time ago. The economy was tanking when Obama took office. Perhaps we have begun to emerge from the economic disaster. But even that hope is tenuous. Rather than cheer each economic report, Americans still fear them.

The nation needs a strong leader to get us out of this economic morass. Americans are confused on which way to turn, however.

This election has become a symbol of our nation's broken political system. Political gridlock in Washington, D.C., is dragging down the nation. We've seen Obama unable to turn that around. Americans don't need four more years of this tension.

In Massachusetts, Romney worked with Democrats to govern the state well. That collaboration and bipartisanship is what our nation needs now.

We endorse Romney.


Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.