Bill Clinton, Paul Ryan pen dueling op-eds in Des Moines Register

Former President Bill Clinton and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan
Former President Bill Clinton and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan
Jewel Samad/AP Photo; Mary Altaffer/ AP Photo/

Both campaigns made a last-ditch appeal to Iowa voters in Sunday’s issue of The Des Moines Register via dueling op-eds – former President Bill Clinton wrote a piece on behalf of Team Obama and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan for Team Romney.

Breaking from recent history, the editorial board of the Iowa paper endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney for president in 2012.

In his counter op-ed, Clinton challenged their support of the GOP ticket and argued “the president is creating a more inclusive, fairer America.” He warned voters in this crucial swing state that a vote for Romney could undo the progress made in the past four years under Obama’s leadership:

Which presidential candidate is more likely to restore prosperity for the middle class and give poor people a chance to work their way into it? To build a 21st century American economy which creates the jobs of tomorrow, reduces our debt and maintains our leadership in the world? To keep leading our country forward to a more perfect union, when there are so many forces working to divide us?

Mitt Romney says that the economy is not fixed and if he is elected it will produce 12 million jobs in the next four years. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but that’s exactly how many new jobs independent business forecaster Moody’s Analytics says will be created if we don’t mess up what the president already has done.

Romney also says that because the debt is a terrible problem, he will cut taxes for everybody by $5 trillion, increase defense spending $2 trillion more than the military has asked for, and tell you how he will pay for it after the election.

Clinton’s piece made the “case” for Obama’s re-election, comparing the candidates’ plans on the economy, health care and education, women’s rights and national security. He also reminded voters of the dire economic situation Obama was handed when he came into office.

While also acknowledging the rough hand Obama was dealt, Ryan vowed to bring to bring the parties together to get work done in Washington. He said, “Both political parties helped get us into this mess. Now it’s time for both parties to come together and fix it.” Ryan’s piece urged Iowans to vote for “change.” He promised a path to create 12 million new jobs and raise take-home pay:

Another four years of anemic economic growth, of ever-higher debt and deficits, would guarantee a diminished future for our children. But this doesn’t have to be our future. You can choose a better path. You can cast your vote for a proven bipartisan leader with a plan and a record of working across the aisle to balance budgets and create jobs.

President Obama offers a repeat of the same failed policies of his first term. He has offered nothing different, and if re-elected, that’s exactly what we can expect.

Mitt Romney offers real change and real reforms for a real recovery. He has a vision for getting Americans back to work and leaving the next generation better off — and he has the experience and the skills to make that vision a reality.

The Register mostly based its endorsement of Romney on jobs and consumer confidence:

Consumers must feel more confident about their own economic futures to begin spending on the products and services that power the economy. A renewed sense of confidence will spark renewed investment by American companies. Industry will return to full production and hiring will begin again.

The last time the paper got behind a Republican candidate for president was in 1972, when they endorsed Richard Nixon.

Bill Clinton, Paul Ryan pen dueling op-eds in Des Moines Register