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Wisconsin paper backs Romney, hopes for ‘etch a sketch’ candidate

Mitt Romney’s latest endorsement comes from a major Wisconsin newspaper citing him as the “clear choice in an uninspired - and now dwindling – field.”

The paper, disagreeing with most political pundits, says it does not consider last week’s ‘etch a sketch’ comment by Romney’s communication director to be a gaffe.

In fact, it hopes that he will shake up a few of his positions. 

“Romney's finger-to-the-wind tacking across the political sea leaves us to wonder if he is anchored anywhere. But it also gives us hope that he can cast adrift the worst impulses of the political right once the nomination is his,” writes the editorial board.

Not quite a ringing endorsement but the Wisconsin Sentinel Journal writes that Romney’s “pragmatism” and “moderate impulses” make him the best candidate ahead of Tuesday’s primary. 

In the general election, the paper hopes to see a shift to the center on a range of issues including immigration and climate change. The board applauds Romney’s plan to lower corporate tax rates and reform the tax code, but says it fails to control deficit spending.  

Romney's "moderate inclinations" are exactly what Rick Santorum is staking his campaign on.

At a Republican dinner Saturday night, Santorum attempted to rally the base by urging them to not choose someone who can “appeal to the middle”.

In a passionate appeal to the room he asked, “is that how you won in Wisconsin in 2010? By nominating moderates?”

Despite its lukewarm endorsement of Romney, Wisconsin’s largest newspaper might be most remembered in the Republican primary for their editorial board meeting that went viral.

In November, the board stumped Cain with a question on Libya, after asking for clarification he said, "I’ve got all of this stuff twirling around in my head."  

The Wisconsin Sentential Journal endorsed President Obama in the 2008 Presidential election.