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Romney Focuses on Economy; Edges Santorum In New Ohio Poll

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CANTON, Ohio) -- Pushing his closing argument prior to Tuesday’s ten state voting contest, Mitt Romney accused Obama and his GOP rivals of not paying attention to major issues facing Americans, claiming that the relentless attention his own campaign has paid to the economy will help him defeat the president this fall and has already contributed to his winning streak in the primary.

“When our president came into office there was one key job in front of him; and that was to get this economy going and put people back to work. But instead of focusing his energy on that topic, he instead went off on a whole series of other things he wanted to do,” said Romney, speaking at Gregory Industries, a steel company that specializes in highway guard rails. “One of the reasons we're having such difficulty coming out of the downturn we're in is because the president has failed to focus on what was most important to America, which is getting good jobs again.”

“I will focus on those things that are most important,” said Romney. “I will focus on getting good jobs and less debt and smaller government. Again that’s what I know.”

“During this campaign there has been discussion about all sorts of issues, I keep bringing it back to more jobs, less debt and smaller government,” said Romney, who did not mention any of his GOP rivals by name during the speech.

While Romney has stayed nearly entirely focused on the economy, his counterparts, especially chief rival Sen. Rick Santorum, have spent a greater amount of time talking about social issues on the stump.

“That’s what my campaign is about,” said Romney of the economy. “That’s why I believe I’m doing well at this stage. My gosh -- we just won our fifth state in a row, Washington state.   And endorsements from key republicans across the country in part because of that very simple message and our focus on what’s most important.”

The second-ranking republican in the House, minority whip Eric Cantor, endorsed Romney over the weekend and Monday, former Attorney General John Ashcroft did the same.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Monday shows Romney with a slight edge over Santorum in Ohio, leading him 35 percent to 31 percent of likely Republican primary voters, a ten point shift in Romney’s favor since February 27.

Senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom attributed Romney’s surge in the polls to his “pro-jobs message.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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