On Tuesday, Americans will head to voting booths to choose who the president will be for the next four years.
Although The State News endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during Michigan’s Republican primary because of his moderate views and strong business background, for the 2012 general election, The State News Editorial Board formally endorses President Barack Obama.
The president has a better plan on where to take this country during the next four years, and already has made positive strides during his first term.
In very few words, Vice President Joe Biden best summed up Obama’s first term during his speech at the Democratic National Convention: “Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.”
When Obama took office, the economy was on the brink of collapse. The country was facing its worst economic recession since the Great Depression, and Obama had little time to get the country back on track. Detroit, especially, was facing extreme economic woes because the automotive industry was going bankrupt. Obama supported an $85 billion bailout for GM and Chrysler to help the companies restructure after filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In doing so, the companies were able to save thousands of jobs and currently are making profits, putting themselves back on track. Obama knew if he let these companies go under without public funding — or allowed the private sector to pick up the slack, as Mitt Romney suggested in his now infamous “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” op-ed piece — hundreds of thousands of jobs would have been lost, and Michigan’s economy would have plummeted further than it already had.
Obama has a better understanding of the importance of higher education and wants to extend the number of Pell Grants, or government-funded loans for students in need. The president has been a true advocate for higher education, helping to raise the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,635 for the 2013-14 year, a $905 increase since 2008. The number of students eligible for Pell Grants has increased by 50 percent during the past four years, helping millions of lower-income and middle-class students pay for higher education.
Obama is a candidate who stands up for the rights of all. On one of his first days as president, he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps women bring their employers to court if they find they are being paid less than a man for doing the same work.
He avidly supports a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, something Romney used to support but recently changed his position on. Obama also recently came out in favor of gay marriage, and we hope he supports legislation in the future that would grant marriage rights to all couples — homosexual and heterosexual.
During the primaries, Romney tried to appeal to the Republican base by switching his position on a myriad of issues in order to gain support and, eventually, the Republican nomination.
Now that he received the nomination, he is trying to appear more moderate to gain independent and undecided voters. Although we don’t agree with everything Obama has done during the past four years, he at least has been honest with Americans about his positions on issues. Romney’s positions have changed quite frequently.
For these reasons, President Obama deserves to be re-elected.