Could Endorsement Hurt Romney?

If there’s such as a thing as a backhanded endorsement, the Des Moines Register gave a major one to Mitt Romney this weekend. After glossing over some of the justifiable concerns that conservatives have about Romney, the paper piled on the praise for Romneycare and gushed over the candidate’s willingness to compromise with Democrats:

While other Republican candidates are content to bash the president’s health reform law without offering meaningful reforms of their own, Romney has defended the principal goal of the Massachusetts health care legislation, which was to ensure that all residents there had access to health care. …

These aren’t exactly arguments that conservative caucus-goers will find persuasive. Romney’s Massachusetts health care reform is perpetually toxic with Republican voters, and they aren’t likely to be impressed by his “carefully nuanced position on abortion over the years,” either.