Merrimack, New Hampshire (CNN) - Mitt Romney sidestepped questions Tuesday about his newest opponent, Rick Perry, in a refusal to escalate an intra-party squabble the day after the Texas governor questioned his credentials.
The Massachusetts governor faced repeated questions from the media about Perry, who at an Iowa event Monday told reporters to compare the records of the two governors. Perry frequently touts his record on job creation in Texas.
But Romney, the GOP front-runner in the national polls, stood at the microphone in a warehouse at Stanley Elevator Co. in Merrimack, New Hampshire and repeated his response that Perry was "a fine guy, a fine governor" and said the American people would be able to make their own decisions.
"Governor Perry and I are going to have plenty of opportunities to contrast our experience and our vision for the nation when we have our debates," said Romney, who's making his second bid for the GOP nomination. "At this stage all I've got to say about Governor Perry is he's a fine guy, a fine governor, respect him, look forward to seeing him out on the trail and at the debates."
Instead, Romney focused his criticism on President Obama, who is traveling across the Midwest on a bus tour to discuss the economy with voters at events in three states.
"There's no question in anyone's mind that he would not be doing that bus tour if his first two and a half years had been successful," Romney said. "His record speaks a heck of a lot louder than these bus tires do."