POSTED: Friday, October 19, 2012 - 7:33am
UPDATED: Friday, October 19, 2012 - 3:13pm
CNN — The Orlando Sentinel announced Thursday their endorsement of Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race.
The Florida newspaper cited "anemic" economic growth and a growing poverty rate as reasons to throw their support behind the GOP candidate as opposed to President Barack Obama, which they did in 2008.
"We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years. For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race," reads the endorsement.
In 2000, the paper endorsed Republican George W. Bush and then switched to support Democrat John Kerry in 2004.
While handing Romney its support, the paper also conceded that the Republican White House hopeful is "not our ideal candidate for president."
"We've been turned off by his appeals to social conservatives and immigration extremists. Like most presidential hopefuls, including Obama four years ago, Romney faces a steep learning curve on foreign policy," said the paper, alluding to Romney's stances taken during the Republican primary contests.
"But the core of Romney's campaign platform, his five-point plan, at least shows he understands that reviving the economy and repairing the government's balance sheet are imperative - now, not four years in the future."
The Orlando Sentinel said that despite unemployment rate falling below eight percent, in reflecting on the last four years, they believe Obama is not the most qualified candidate in the presidential race,
"This is Romney's time to lead, again. If he doesn't produce results - even with a hostile Senate - we'll be ready in 2016 to get behind someone else who will," said the paper. "We endorse Mitt Romney for president."
Recent polls taken after the first presidential debate in the Florida show Romney with an advantage over Obama in the battleground state among likley voters.
An American Research Group poll released last week showed Romney at 49% and Obama at 46% support among likley voters. Another Florida poll showed Romney leading by a wider margin -- 51% to Obama's 44% in a Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald survey also released last week.
CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.
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By: CNN Political Unit