The Salt Lake Tribune has endorsed Barack Obama in the 2012 race, terming Mitt Romney the GOP’s "shape-shifting nominee."
"The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first," the Utah newspaper said in the editorial.
Despite Utah being a reliably Republican state and — as the historic and cultural center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — largely Mormon, it's not the first time the Tribune has thrown its support behind Obama, according to CNN. It endorsed him in 2008, as an Illinois Senator.
In 2004, however, the paper endorsed Republican George W. Bush.
The Tucson Citizen began began its story on the endorsement with, "Hell hath officially frozen over," added that:
"Indeed Mitt Romney has reversed his positions too many times. He is out of touch with the average American voter."
The Tribune, published by MediaNews Group according to the Boston Globe, criticized Romney’s "servile courtship of the Tea Party" to win nomination.
It also called him "shameless" in pandering to various constituencies, questioning the "pragmatic, inclusive" former Massachusetts governor's change into a Republican nominee.
The editorial stated:
"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?'"
It also said he “has repeatedly refused to share specifics” of many of his proposals.
However, the paper did praise Romney for his rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, describing him as “the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son.”
Utah voted overwhelmingly for Sen. John McCain in 2008, CNN noted, handing him 63 percent support to Obama's 34 percent, and it "will likely hand its six electoral votes to Romney in November."
Obama, however, narrowly beat McCain in 2008 in the urban area and home to the Tribune in Salt Lake County, 49 percent to 48 percent.