Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry refused to attack the man who may have the most to lose from his entry into the GOP primary: Mitt Romney.
Perry was asked about the former Massachusetts governor Sunday, the morning after he announced his candidacy and managed to edge ahead of Romney in the closely watched Ames Straw Poll.
Perry's name was not on the ballot, though an outside group, Americans for Rick Perry, worked to woo Iowa voters attending the poll.
Romney, who won the poll in 2007, did not put resources into the event this year.
At a press conference Sunday, Perry was asked by a reporter about a story in the tabloid newspaper The Boston Herald that suggested he could be "Mitt's worst nightmare."
"I hope I'm not anybody's worst nightmare. I hope I'm a very worthy competitor," Perry said. "We're going to have a lot of time to discuss, I'm sure, Governor Romney's record. Today's not the day."
Perry, a tea party favorite whose social conservatism makes him appealing to many voters in Iowa, also aims to pick up fiscal conservatives in New Hampshire.
Romney, who owns a summer home in the state and has planned a raft of events here through August, draws on a deep well of support from locals and views New Hampshire as a must-win.
When asked about Perry last Friday, before he had officially entered the race, Romney said he wasn't a political pundit.
"He could do real well and if he does, why, that will make it a more interesting contest," Romney said. "I just don’t know how that will all work out."
Perry now heads to Iowa, but his campaign has been aggressively courting local GOP officials and will return for a series of events later in the week.