TOLEDO, Ohio--After winning key primaries in Michigan and Arizona, Mitt Romney was back on the road again Wednesday, holding what his campaign described as a "grassroots rally" at a fence manufacturing plant.
But with a little less than 150 people on site, the event didn't quite have the feel of a rally--and indeed, the candidate, who warned Tuesday night that the nomination fight is far from over, seemed subdued.
Taking the stage, Romney talked up his victories as "very good news" and said he was "very pleased" by the outcome. And then he immediately pivoted to the issue that he hopes will drive the conversation until the Super Tuesday contests on March 6: the economy.
"Interestingly, the people who said the economy and jobs were their No. 1 issue, they voted for me overwhelmingly," Romney said. "And that's one of the reasons I'm running."
While Romney dedicated a significant part of his stump speech to social issues like abortion and religious liberties during the nominating contests in Colorado, Arizona and Michigan, the candidate kept the focus on the economy here in a city that has been devastated by the loss of manufacturing jobs.
Repeatedly, Romney cited what has become a new mantra for his campaign--telling voters here that he's running to create "more jobs, less debt and smaller government."
Romney did not mention his Republican rivals by name--though, as he does at most events, he sought to contrast his record in the private sector with opponents who have spent time on Capitol Hill.
"Do you want someone who's spent his life in the private sector, who understands where jobs come from?" Romney asked the crowd at one point. "Or do you want someone who's spent his career in Washington? There are a couple of guys who spent their entire career in Washington who you can vote for. I just don't think we're going to beat Barack Obama and get our country back on track if we have guys whose resume looks like his resume."
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