Instead, Romney is striking a more presidential tone, refusing to attack or even mention his opponents, and instead sticking to purely fiscal issues such as the economic prosperity, growing jobs, and health care. He is direct in his criticism of Mr. Obama but, unlike Mr. Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, his tone is less sanctimonious and more respectful.
“He did not cause the recession … but he was going to be the one who was going to end it,” Romney said of the president Monday.
Meanwhile in Washington, President Obama today let loose on both Romney and Ryan, with his first, all-out attack on Ryan's House GOP budget plan and, on Monday, his first television ad to go after Romney by name, targeting ties to Big Oil.
Romney appears eager to take up the fight.
“What he’s been talking about at those campaign stops has really been about President Obama. He no longer mentions Santorum and has changed his focus and is talking more about national issues,” says Arnold Shober, a political scientist at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.
It helps that Romney is also picking up endorsements from key figures in his party based in Wisconsin. Most top Republicans in this state – with the notable exception of GOP Governor Scott Walker – have explicitly lent Romney their support, including US Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who introduced both Romney and Ryan Monday, and US Sen. Ron Johnson.