GOP candidates make a big campaign push in Wisconsin - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

GOP candidates make a big campaign push in Wisconsin

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MADISON, Wis. (KWWL) -

The presidential race is on in Wisconsin-- and if there's enough support behind GOP hopeful Mitt Romney, it may be the end of this campaign season for some other candidates.

Mitt Romney started this weekend with an endorsement from Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

Then Romney began an aggressive stretch of campaigning in the state by focusing his criticism on President Obama.

During remarks to a college audience in Appleton, Romney made no mention of his Republican presidential opponents.

Romney then attacked the president's economic record, calling his strategy "a bust."

"Out-of-touch liberals like Barack Obama say they want a strong economy, but they really don't like businesses very much, but the economy is simply the product of all the nations' businesses added together-- so it's like saying you love omelets but don't like eggs," Romney said.

All this as an NBC News-Marist poll shows Romney leading, ahead of Rick Santorum by seven percentage points in Wisconsin.

Romney's schedule is packed this weekend. He'll appear at four events across Wisconsin.

Republican candidate Rick Santorum is also campaigning hard in Wisconsin—despite Thursday's comments from former President George H.W. Bush saying that it was time for the party to get behind Romney.

"I know there's a lot of folks who are sort of coalescing and say well maybe its time for this primary to end," Santorum said Friday. "There's a survey taken just this week that said 61% of the people said no we're not ready for that yet. Wisconsin can make it clear we're not ready for that. They make it crystal clear you're not ready for that yet."

Santorum also has at least four events planned for the weekend—one of them even in the tri-state area.  Santorum will be in Platteville on Saturday.

On Friday, he told NBC reporters that he's best able to connect with voters after making reference earlier in the day to Romney as a "CEO who jokes about firing people".

Newt Gingrich is also not giving up yet.

Reporters in Green Bay asked him if he thinks it's likely that Romney will get 1144 Delegates.

"I think he had a real opportunity to do that, but I think he has to earn it." Newt responds. "It's not automatic, and it's not mathematically certain. Despite, by the way, all of his advantages in money, he has still not closed the deal."

Gingrich held multiple campaign events in Wisconsin Friday, but there are signs of his campaign slowing down.

Earlier this week, Gingrich's campaign cut one-third of its paid staff and announced a reduction in travel.

Ron Paul appears to be staying out of the spot light this weekend, his website didn't list any events as of Friday night.

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