(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry backed up his "pathetic" criticism of President Obama late Thursday, saying the incumbent's thinking is based on his background.
"He grew up in a privileged way," Perry said while explaining his ad attack that decries President Obama's description of America as being "a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades."
Obama made the comments Saturday in Hawaii during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit as he explained the nation can do a better job of selling goods outside of the U.S.
"You know, he never had to really work for anything and he never had to go through what Americans are going-you know, there's 14-plus million Americans sitting out there, some of them watching this program tonight that don't have a job," Perry said in an interview on Fox News.
"The president has never felt that angst that they have in their heart."
President Obama's memoir, "Dreams from my Father," published in 1995, documents a less than privileged childhood marked by the divorce of his parents when the president was two years old, his father's absence, and a move to Jakarta after his mother remarried. At 10 years old, Obama returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. His mother followed later. He was admitted to a college preparatory school in the fifth grade on scholarship.
But for Perry, Obama's background falls short.
"We need a president who's been through the ups and downs of life, who understands what it's like to have to deal with the issues of our economy we have today in America, and that's what this election is gonna be about," he continued. "Who has a plan to get America working again."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also attacked the president's comments, saying he doesn't think Obama understands America at a campaign event in South Carolina.
"He said Americans are lazy," Romney said. "I don't think that describes America."
And Thursday, the Democratic National Committee hit back at both GOP rivals with a Web ad questioning their record on creating jobs.
"President Obama said we need to do more to bring jobs to America," an ad banner says before a photo of Romney slides across the screen. Matched with the photo is text that states "Mitt Romney's Massachusetts: 47th in job creation."
Perry's photo is paired with: "Rick Perry's Texas. #1 in minimum wage jobs."
Calling Rick Perry's description of Obama's "lazy" remarks "another gaffe" and Romney's "another manipulation" the Web spot blasts both GOP candidates for the 2012 presidential nomination for making "another attack we just can't believe."
Programming note: GOP presidential candidates next face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.. Submit your questions for the debate here.