"Perhaps most disappointing has been the president's divisive rhetoric and his inability to forge alliances with the opposing party to find solutions. Republicans share the blame for the angry tone in American politics, but it was Obama who pledged just four years ago to bridge the gap between red and blue, liberal and conservative."
The Observer pours some cold water on both candidates, saying neither "has offered a credible plan that might spark growth and help create jobs. Similarly, on the issue that profoundly threatens the United States long-term – the debt – neither candidate has come forth with a prescriptive, balanced proposal of program cuts and increased revenues."
But, seeking to choose one or the other, the paper went with Obama. It concluded that Romney's fiscal plan "may be going the wrong direction" with tax cuts and higher military spending.
And in support of Obama, the Observer argues that his health-care reform in 2010 "illustrates the biggest contrast between the president and his challenger. In words and some deeds, Obama has worked to protect vulnerable Americans – the uninsured, gays, the children of illegal immigrants. He’s governed with a philosophy that all Americans deserve at least the opportunity for success, and he’s advocated for tax reform and an educational infrastructure that would promote fairness."
While sharing the economic emphasis of many other newspaper endorsements (and of US voters), the Tampa Bay Times argues for Obama in part because of "stark" distinctions on social issues.