Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Texas governor Rick Perry blew a kiss to Mitt Romney on Monday, kissing off criticism from the former Massachusetts governor and saying, "Give him my love."
The newly-minted Republican presidential candidate was responding to criticism from Romney during a visit to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. In New Hampshire earlier Monday, Romney said he is the only contender in the GOP presidential race with extensive experience in both business and government.
CNN asked Perry about the criticism.
Pressing his hands to his lips - then blowing a kiss – Perry's message to Romney: "Give him my love."
CNN pressed Perry on the substance of Romney's dig.
"I think it's oranges and apples," Perry said. "Running a state is different from running a business. What I would say is go take a look at his [Romney's] record when he was governor and my record when I'm governor. Then you got some apples to apples."
Romney isn't the only GOP competitor Perry addressed from the booth of the Iowa Republican Party. CNN also asked the Texas governor about criticism from fellow GOP candidate Michele Bachmann's campaign, which has criticized Perry for not participating in last week's GOP presidential debate or the Ames straw poll on Saturday.
Perry's response to that was essentially a verbal kiss off.
"We're here," Perry said.
Perry visited the Iowa GOP booth after speaking at the "soapbox" at the state fair – a few bales of hay where presidential contenders have addressed supporters, the press and critics since last week. The governor laced his speech with a mix of policy prowess, job-creation bombast and southern folksiness.
"I know what this country needs. And we need to get Americans back working," Perry thundered. "We need to be able to create an environment in this country where anybody that wants to work can find that job. And I'm really proud of what we've done in the state of Texas in the last decade."
Perry continued: "40 percent of all the jobs created in America – from June of 2009 until the present – were created in Texas. I know how to create jobs. You let the private sector - free them up from over taxation, free them up from over regulation, free them up from over litigation. And government, get out of the way. Let the private sector do what the private sector do what it knows how to do."
The Texas governor also spoke about President Obama's Midwest bus tour.
"He's coming into Iowa here in a little bit. And I'm asking him to do something," Perry said. "He says he's on a listening tour. So I'm gonna talk to him. And here's what I wanna say to him. 'Mister President, you need to free up the employers of this country to create jobs.'"
While Perry is making job creation in Texas the centerpiece of his presidential campaign, there is more to the story.
CNN Money reports that "Texas leads the nation in minimum-wage jobs, and many positions don't offer health benefits. Also, steep budget cuts are expected to result in the loss of more than 100,000 jobs."
The site also reports that "Texas enjoys advantages that have nothing to do with having Perry at the helm."
Meanwhile, Perry showed off some of his southern charm that's attracted supporters and could woo others.
The governor talked about his love for the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.
"You know what. That's kind of one of my favorite amendments," Perry said.
"The Second Amendment allows me to go jogging with my daughter's dog over here. And if a coyote jumps out, I can take care of it."
Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN
Perry is a fraud. TX is on its way down the crapper. He only hopes it can happen "on the next guy's watch" (Sound familiar?) before America finds out what a corporate sellout he is.
Too bad Perry isn't required to resign as Govenor of Texas while stumping for the US Presidency. The Lord knows this man sucks at his job. The state of Texas education is speaks volumes for the job that Perry has done for my great state of TEXAS. All I can say if he gets enough people to vote for him God help us all and you will reap what you sow. Don't fall for the good hair and stuffed suits. This man is not what the US needs.
stop the in fighting, all of you grow up, you sound like the welfare downgrade cry baby obama, beat him not ourselves, Romney and Bachman need to grow up and quit being idiots too, you sound also like McCain and hes an ass like obama too.
perry rejected stimulus money, yo..... asked for help only whenover 80% of his state burned, just like those who asked for it when 80% of theirs flooded, only because it affected multiple states on critical proportions. Quote perry with HE IS RICK PERRY, NOT GEORGE BUSH.
I can just hear the Sunday morning news shows if he gets into the White House... Let us pray...
You let the private sector – free them up from over taxation, free them up from over regulation, free them up from over litigation. And government, get out of the way. Let the private sector do what the private sector do what it knows how to do."
So Perry is saying what every politician has been saying for thirty years,nothing new here. I would like for these Republicans to explain in detail what President Obama has done to business, they keep saying that it is Obamas fault that business is slow accross the country and I want to know exactly what Obama has done to cause this. I work for a medium business and we are struggling because of demand being down for our products but no one out of the 400 employees blames Obama.
Perry, the Gardasil Governor. Google it and hope your little daughters don't have him calling the shots on their health care.
I live in Texas and Perry is my governor, HOWEVER, my vote WILL NOT go to him!
Someone who is rumored to be offensively unfaithful to his wife, who many say snorts coke and even indulges in gay sex, is not the kind of person I want to run this country. That may be fine for your average citizen, but not for someone that will occupy what it is still, the most important political position in the world. Do not take my word for it, just "Google" this stuff and you will come across it too!
This man is too much like GWB, with his arrogance, superiority and conceit, and to top it all off, he may even be a Freemason, so no, I am very sorry, I'd rather not even vote, before I help this man into the White House.
Perry is just a new Snake Oil Salesman who sleeps with the snakes! We need him in office like we need a ban on Freon! Perry got the Texas Governers Mansion burned down! What do you think Texan's think of his political record? Do your research before you vote for ANYONE! The internet is a click away!
Good heavens, not another one!
Here we go again.
.Perry and Romney up on a tree....K- I- S- S- I- N- G .........................................
Parry dated his wife for 16 years before they got married; who does that?
RON PAUL is the People's Choice in 2012!
Bachman's gonna make him look like the career politician he is.
He touts the fact that he grew up poor, in a small town. The only job he has ever held down is in politics. He is now a multi-millionaire. What is wrong with this picture?
How come cnn never actually reports the news? I never see Ron Paul mentioned, even though he is in the top on most polls. That's why I almost never come here for my news, they don't report facts, they just have an agenda.
Please, not another gun toting Texan shooting from the hip. We had that for eight years and the economy went in the tank and is still there from the actions of the last president from Texas. No more Texans for a while.
just what this country needs, Bush II, another southern fried moron
What CNN wants to down play is the creation of PRIVATE sector jobs. Benefits or not, even minimum wage is better that the onslaught of government jobs that the democrats want. Private sector jobs create wealth and fund government through taxes. Government jobs consume those taxes. Perry knows this and has focused on that in Texas. THAT is why Texas grew PRIVATE sector jobs and yes shedding public sector jobs. When the underlying economy can support more government services in a sustainable manner, then and only then should they be considered.
Obama is as political to the left as the liberal biased media calls the Tea Party political to the right. I would rather have a Mass Governor, Texas Govenor, or a Minnesota Representative than a Liberal Elite PRofessor form Illinois as President!!!!.
I'd just like to not have another idiot from Texas elected president in my lifetime. Idoits from other states, OK. But, we've paid a heavy price for the last Texas moron.
WOW, every day this freak Perry sounds more and more like Bush....
@SecedingfromTexas – How so right are you and I am tired of it also. All candidates are "running around the country" NOT necessarily doing their job. Bachmann ran back ONCE in almost a year to vote NO on the debt ceiling bill. The RIGHT expects the RIGHT to criticize and bash the President but he is not allowed to fight back.............Pathetic!!!
Almost every other Ticker is about Perry – So here we go the "WHIPPED cream with the PERRY on top" – Hail, hail the gang's all here – The Three Little MITTens, Bachmann, Perry!!!
Go jogging with his daughter and defend her from coyotes? LMAO – this guy is even crazier than Bachmann.
Yeah, he doesn't want to talk about his business experience as opposed to Romney's – because he doesn't have any.
and I will take Massachusetts over Texas anytime. One day soon Texas will pump it's last gallon of oil and final cubic foot of natural gas and the State will go into fiscal collapse.
I drop in on CNN once in a while to see just how much kookier the left has become lately. Today is no surprise. Just about everyone is parroting the same nonsense that comes out of Wasserman-Schultz's mouth.
Those of us in the middle and on the right are tired. We're tired of the over-spending and the dragging of our Constitution through the mud. We're tired of politicians who deny reality and call Tea Party members vile names.
Come November of 2012, the left is going to see a conservative tsunami that will sweep through the country.