Cincinnati (CNN) – Mitt Romney made little news in Ohio on Saturday, a sign that his campaign is confident some good news is on the way on Super Tuesday.
Sensing an upward tick in Ohio momentum, a trend acknowledged both by Romney campaign advisers and Republican insiders here, the former Massachusetts governor largely ignored his rivals at two campaign events and sounded instead like the Republican nominee, hammering President Barack Obama’s management of the economy and the military.
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He said Obama should give Americans more frequent updates about the status of the conflict in Afghanistan, after a woman choked up when describing her daughter’s military service and told Romney she believed there was no clear mission for American service members in that conflict.
“If your daughter is not familiar with the mission that she’s on, how in the world can the commander-in-chief sleep at night knowing that we have soldiers in harm’s way that don't know exactly, precisely, what it is that they’re doing there,” Romney said.
The GOP candidate devoted his Saturday schedule to southwest Ohio, making a stop in Cincinnati after his earlier town hall in Dayton.
Both cities are surrounded by heavily Republican suburbs, where Romney hopes to outperform his rival Rick Santorum, who is expected to do well in the eastern parts of the state near his native Pennsylvania, in Tuesday’s primary.
His rally in Dayton was particularly striking.
Nearly 1,500 supporters jammed into a vast manufacturing facility and rewarded Romney’s jabs at the president with noisy applause. It looked and sounded like a general election rally that might take place in September or October.
Romney was joined at the event by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and NFL center Nick Mangold, an Ohio State University alumnus who now plays for the New York Jets.
“If I was as big and strong as Nick, this race would already be over,” Romney said to laughter.