- (REUTERS/Jim Young)
As governor of the state responsible for over 40 percent of the nation's jobs since 2009, Texas Republican Rick Perry is wasting no time explaining why he is better suited to take on President Barack Obama's economic record than frontrunner Mitt Romney.
During Perry's first official day on the campaign trail, he took on the Romney campaign's crown jewel, Mitt's private sector experience.
Romney touts having spent over 25 years in the private sector, building businesses and creating jobs, according to his website. During a Monday speech in Litchfield, N.H., he told voters he understands "how the economy works from having worked in the real economy."
Perry told Politico, "I was in the private sector for thirteen years after I left the Air Force ... I wasn't on Wall Street, I wasn't working at Bain Capital (Romney's past employer), but the principles of the free market – they work whether you're in a farm field in Iowa or whether you're on Wall Street."
Perry's principles for a free market – controlled spending, low taxes, fair regulations and tort reform – are the keys to Texas' current business-friendly atmosphere, he says.
In a recent speech at the Republican Leadership Conference, Perry boasted that Texas is responsible for 47.8 percent of all jobs created in America since June 2009 and is the number one exporting state in the nation. He also bragged that Texas has a balanced budget and a rainy day fund of $6 billion.
Perry compared his leadership in Texas to Romney's economic experience, saying, "Texas is the real economy."
Romney served as governor of Massachusetts for four years.
In 2008, Romney claimed his state added 57,600 Jobs during his 2003-2007 term. However, that number has been challenged by Northeastern University economist Andrew Sum who asserted that the state lagged behind the national average in job creation, economic growth and wage increases during Romney's tenure.
Romney currently asserts on his 2012 campaign website that he was elected governor "during an economic slump" and "fought hard to make his state job-friendly and business competitive"
Perry told Iowans Monday, comparing his state record to Romney's, "I know how to create jobs."
He then called on Obama saying, "Mr. President, you need to free up the employers of this country to create jobs, get rid of the regulations that are stifling jobs in America."
Perry says he is a proud "pro-business" governor and pledges to be a pro-business president.
Although he joined the race just this past Saturday, Perry rivals Romney in Gallup's GOP Contender poll with 15 percent ballot support. Romney currently holds 17 percent of the GOP's ballot support; Michele Bachmann has 11 percent ballot support.