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Romney, Obama battle during 3 Tuesday primaries

 Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks in Shawano, Wis., Monday, April 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
 Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, accompanied by his wife Karen, holds a cheese head hat at Simon's Specialt...
 Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney campaigns at Wisconsin Building Supply in Howard, Monday, April 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Green Bay Press-Gazett...
 Buttons showing the likeness of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, are seen at a vendor stand outside a Romney...

Santorum 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks in Shawano, Wis., Monday, April 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Santorum 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, accompanied by his wife Karen, holds a cheese head hat at Simon's Specialt...

Romney 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney campaigns at Wisconsin Building Supply in Howard, Monday, April 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Green Bay Press-Gazett...

Romney 2012

Buttons showing the likeness of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, are seen at a vendor stand outside a Romney...

Likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney looked with assurance toward a victory in three more primary elections Tuesday while increasingly turning his rhetorical fire on President Barack Obama, saying he relies on Europe for political inspiration.
Obama returned the attacks Tuesday in a speech to newspaper editors and publishers gathered for the annual Associated Press board meeting in Washington.
Obama challenged Romney for embracing a $3.5 trillion budget proposal led by Rep. Paul Ryan. The spending plan, approved by the House last week, is designed to slash the federal deficit and reduce the size of government.
It stands little chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Obama called it a "Trojan horse" symbol of the Republican vision for the country during a speech aimed to appeal to middle-class voters.
With Republican primaries Tuesday in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C., Romney is set to hold one campaign event before an election night party in Wisconsin. He spent the weekend campaigning there, working to win yet another big industrial state that chief rival Rick Santorum was counting on to keep his fading candidacy alive.
"The right thing for us, I think, is to get a nominee as soon as we can and be able to focus on Barack Obama," Romney told Fox News in an interview.
Romney has ignored the conservative Santorum the past few days as he has focused on Obama, telling supporters that the president "takes his political inspiration from the capitals of Europe." The often used Republican line of attack is meant to imply an opponent is elitist and not in touch with the American mainstream.
In a broad attack on Republicans, Obama lashed the Ryan budget as a plan for gutting Medicare _ the government health insurance program for older Americans _ while cutting taxes for the wealthy and leading to deep cuts in crucial programs such as aid to college students and highway and rail projects.
"It's a Trojan horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it's really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country," Obama said. "It's nothing but thinly veiled social Darwinism."
Romney has 572 Republican National Convention delegates, half of the 1,144 needed to win the Republican nomination, and is on a pace to clinch it by the end of the primary season in June. Santorum has 272 delegates. Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, has 135 and Texas Rep. Ron Paul 51.
There were 95 delegates at stake Tuesday, including 42 in Wisconsin, the only one of the three contests that Santorum seriously contested. Romney is expected to do well in Maryland and in the U.S. capital, where Santorum's name doesn't appear on the ballot.
Romney's campaign is running far behind the president in fundraising, however, as he's been unable to raise general election money because of the drawn-out primary contest.
At the end of February, Obama reported $84.7 million in his campaign account compared with Romney's $7.3 million. Obama has more than 530 paid staff compared with roughly 100 for Romney.
But Romney has far outspent his Republican rivals.
Santorum has said Romney has essentially bought his success by outspending the competition.