(LIN) – The nation is mired in 8.3 percent in unemployment. Almost 20 percent of the country is underemployed. With Congress in gridlock over plans to counter the strife, presidential candidate and former Mass. Republican Gov. Mitt Romney's business-like mentality and no-nonsense rapport seem to be striking the right tone with potential voters.
And Romney knows it.
Until recently, his strategy was to focus on President Barack Obama as much as possible, often opting to ignore the barbs of fellow GOP candidates.
"Three years ago, a newly elected President Obama told America that if Congress approved his plan to borrow nearly a trillion dollars, he would hold unemployment below 8 percent," Romney said after his victory in the Nevada GOP caucuses.
At one point, Romney preempted an Obama economic visit to Florida when he released his "Welcome to Florida " advertisement. It blamed the president's policies for the rampant foreclosures and high unemployment in the Sunshine State. Romney ended up winning the Florida GOP primary with 46 percent of the vote.
"I think (he's) the man that's going to get Barack Obama out of the White House," said Romney supporter Greg Jennings , a 60-year-old retiree. "That's the main thing."
That's easier said than done.
Before he can actually face Obama, Romney must figure out how to attract and retain the most conservative voting blocs. These same blocs are currently propelling former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. in a surging anti-Romney wave. In the latest three-state sweep, Santorum won Missouri, Minnesota and stole Colorado from Romney.
What should the former governor do to defend Santorum's oncoming attack?
Stick to his guns…his financial ones.
Last valued at $270 million , the former governor has relied on his war chest through thick and thin.
Just ask fellow candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga. As the GOP caucuses came to a close in Iowa in January, a Romney Super PAC, "Restore Our Future," blasted Gingrich with an array of ads all over the state amounting to almost $4 million.
"I probably should have responded faster and more aggressively…If somebody spent $3.5 million lying about you, you have some obligation to come back and set the record straight," said Gingrich , after he finished behind Santorum and Romney.
Romney shrugged off the attacks as typical politics.
"You got to have broad shoulders…you can't spend your time whining," he said in an interview.
In Michigan, where one of the next two primaries will be held, Romney's campaign and Super PAC are spending $2.6 million in advertising. But will that be enough to sway conservative voting blocs? After the polls close in Michigan on Feb. 28, we'll have that answer.
Lawmakers in Connecticut and New York are calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to take immediate action to try and prevent another deadly train crash like the one that happened last weekend in New York City.
Members of the Machinists union who work at jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney have approved a new three-year contract.
Manchester police are investigating what lead one man to allegedly kill three women and then take his own life.
The University of Connecticut has awarded the first two scholarships under a program launched to help those affected by last year's massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
A student accused of setting off a lockdown and massive police response at Central Connecticut State University by wearing a ninja-like costume on campus is set to face a judge for the first time.
Newtown police officers rescued two people from a house fire, early Sunday.
Enfield resident Harold Slater was just 20-years-old the day he witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Two men were arrested after breaking into a home then driving at officers during a pursuit in Waterbury on Saturday night.
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The two youngest members of the U.S. Senate are co-sponsoring a bill aimed at lowering college costs that includes withholding federal funds from schools that don't meet affordability and quality standards.