COLUMBIA, S.C. — Mitt Romney is making his first campaign stop of the 2012 race in South Carolina.

The former Massachusetts governor is taking a different approach to the first-in-the-South primary state in his second presidential run.

He ran for the 2008 GOP nomination and spent considerable time and money competing in South Carolina only to bail from the state days before primary voting began when it became clear he would lose big. Romney couldn't convince Christian evangelicals and other social conservatives in the Bible Belt state to look beyond their skepticism over his Mormon faith and doubts over his reversals on policy.

His team says he'll focus heavily on the economy this time. He's been laying the groundwork in South Carolina for a 2012 bid for more than a year.