DES MOINES — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, on his third day as a presidential candidate, fired shots at both President Obama and a main rival for the GOP nomination — Mitt Romney.
"Take a look at his record when he was governor, take a look at my record," Perry said. "That's apples to apples."
Perry, who was campaigning at the Iowa State Fair on Monday also drew a distinction between running a business and running a state — "that's apples to oranges," he said.
As he was being asked about Romney, the front-runner for the nomination who is campaigning in New Hampshire on Monday, Perry smiled, blew an air kiss and said, "Send him my love."
Just minutes earlier, while delivering remarks at the Des Moines Register Soapbox here, Perry focused his fire on President Obama, who will be in a different part of the state later Monday.
"He says he's on a listening tour," Perry said, "so I'm going to talk to him."
"Mr. President, you need to free up the employers of this country to create jobs." Perry called on Obama to "free up this country" from "stifling regulation."
"I'm a pro-business governor, I don't make any apologies about it and I will be a pro-business president."
Perry warned that a "big black cloud" – the national debt – hangs over the country.
"I think you want a president who is passionate about America — that's in love with America."
This post has been updated.