The unsettled Republican presidential campaign slogged through more primaries without a clear-cut winner, as the candidates tried to define their economic policies and conservative credentials, while President Obama continued his push for rebuilding American manufacturing and released a new budget proposal aimed at creating jobs and reducing the deficit.

ON JOBS AND THE ECONOMY:

President Obama: “The main idea in the budget is this: At a time when our economy is growing and creating jobs at a faster clip, we’ve got to do everything in our power to keep this recovery on track. Part of our job is to bring down our deficit, and if Congress adopts this budget, then along with the cuts that we’ already made, we’ll be able to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion by 2022.…It’s going to take time to recover all the jobs that were lost when the recession was at its depth.…Over the past two years, our businesses have added over 3.7 million new jobs. Our manufacturers are hiring more new workers to make more new things here in America than at any time since the 1990s.”

See Last Week’s ‘On the Campaign Trail’ Here >>

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum: “We think Michigan is a great place for us to plant our flag and talk about jobs and manufacturing and giving opportunities for everybody in America to rise.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: “I’m in this race because I believe that America can be turned around, that we don’t have to accept unemployment over 8 percent, a national debt that is as large as our entire economy.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: “This is about maximizing economic growth to put Americans back to work and to create the most dynamic economy on the planet and to rebuild our manufacturing base, so we can pull away from China and we become once again the dominant country on the planet. So how do you do that? You eliminate the capital gains tax, so it is a zero capital gains for all investments in the United States.…You go to 100 percent expensing, so all new equipment at every level — farmer, factory, doctor, business — all of that gets written off in one year. The goal is to make the American system the most modern, most productive in the world.”

ON HEALTH CARE AND ENTITLEMENT:

Romney: “I believe we can save Social Security and Medicare with a few common sense reforms, and, unlike President Obama, I’m not afraid to put them on the table.”

Obama: “Whether you’re a teacher or a small businesswoman or a nurse or a janitor, no woman’s health should depend on who she is, or where she works, or how much money she makes.”

ON CONSERVATISM:

Romney: “In business, if you’re not fiscally conservative, you’re bankrupt. I spent 25 years balancing budgets, eliminating waste.…I did some of the very things conservatism is designed for. I started new businesses and turned around broken ones, and I am not ashamed to say that I was successful in doing it.”

Santorum: “As conservatives we lost heart. We listened to the voices who said that we had to abandon our principles and values to get things done to win.…Well I think we have learned our lesson. And the lesson we learned is that we will no longer abandon and apologize for the principles that made this country great for a hollow victory in November.”

Gingrich: “The conservative movement, when it offers bold solutions to rally millions of Americans, not just Republicans, millions of Americans, Democrats, Independents, people who may never have been in politics, then it wins decisively — 1980, 1984, 1994 are examples of that.”

ON THEIR OPPONENTS:

Texas Rep. Ron Paul: “I think the problem is that all three of them have represented the same system, the same status quo in not wanting changes in the foreign policy. None of them talk about real spending cuts, none of them talk about real changes in monetary policy, so they’re not a whole lot different .”

Romney: “I happen to be the only candidate in this race, Republican or Democrat, who has never worked a day in Washington. I don’t have old scores to settle or decades of cloakroom deals that I have to defend.”

SAY WHAT?

Romney: “I served in government, but I didn’t inhale. I’m still a business guy and I can’t wait to get my hands on Washington.”

Gingrich: “We should abolish the death tax permanently because it is an immoral tax.”

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