Mitt Romney is remaking his campaign into a machine to take on President Barack Obama while keeping one eye on finishing off his Republican rivals, as chief challenger Rick Santorum grasps for a strategy to keep his nomination bid alive.
Romney barnstormed Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania yesterday after a run of primary victories that solidified his hold on his party’s nomination. Yet he made it clear his focus is less on prevailing in the state’s April 24 primary — which he said he expects Santorum to win as the native son — and more on making the state a battleground against Obama in November.
“I need only one thing from you guys, and that’s to make sure I beat Barack Obama in November,” Romney told voters in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, where he visited Mountain Energy Services Inc., a company that supplies trucks and equipment to the oil and gas industry in the Marcellus and Utica shales.
In a mark of the combative general election campaign to come, Obama and his campaign aides took to Twitter to accuse Romney of trying to hide his wealth and call on him to release his tax returns, after a Washington Post report that he has used ethics rules to limit his financial disclosures.