In what’s being widely viewed as a crippling rebuke for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, the state of Utah’s newspaper of record–the Salt Lake Tribune–has published a strong endorsement of President Barack Obama.

For the Tribune to support the re-election of Obama over the aspirations of Romney is particularly striking considering its history as a newspaper originally founded in the 1870s by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is also known as the Mormon Church.

Romney is himself a member of the Mormon Church. He regularly refers to his Mormon faith as an inspiration for his past business practices and as a support for how he would govern if elected president.

But for the Tribune, Romney’s inability to tell and stick with at least one truth during his campaign has been a tremendous disappointment–and something of an embarrassment: “From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, 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?’”

The newspaper’s endorsement of Obama appeared in a Oct. 19 editorial titled “Too Many Mitts.”

The Tribune notes, “For four years, President Barack Obama has attempted, with varying degrees of success, to pull the nation out of its worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression, a deepening crisis he inherited the day he took office.” The newspaper applauds Obama’s efforts to stimulate the economy even while having to fight against Republican Party members who did everything they could to thwart his success. The Tribune also states that Obama’s foreign policy efforts, his saving of the auto industry in Detroit and his health care reform policies each proved that he has the ability to lead and should be returned to office.

“In considering which candidate to endorse, the Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago,” the Tribune’s editorial points out, referring to the fact that Romney made a name for himself in Utah when he successfully served as the organizing president of the 2002 Winter Olympics. “Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb. Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust.

“Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.”