Mitt Romney, GOP presidential candidate front-runner, has apparently seen an approaching flash in his rear view mirror, and he has identified it as Rick Perry.
Romney went on the attack Monday with reporters in the attempt to draw clear lines of difference between himself and Perry, the Texas governor who entered the race for the Republican party's 2012 nomination.
Romney says a blend of his private sector and government experience makes him more qualified as a candidate that Republican opponents, including Perry, specifically, and Democratic incumbent Barack Obama.
Romney was clearly reacting to Perry's surge to near the top of some polls once he officially announced his candidacy over the weekend. The former Massachusetts governor said he liked Perry, the Texas governor, personally, but believes that his 25-year career as a venture capitalist has better prepared him to create jobs.
America's unemployment rate that continues above nine percent two years after the official end to the recession is already a primary issue in the presidential race, just getting underway. Historically, incumbent presidents have a difficult time getting re-elected when unemployment is above eight percent.
"I think understanding how the economy works by having worked in that real economy is finally essential for the White House, and I hope people recognize that," Romney told reporters after touring and addressing employees at a small manufacturing company in New Hampshire Monday.
Romney has been the front-runner according to polls in the early going of the race. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Republican and a Tea Party member, won the Iowa straw poll over the weekend and after her victory, and Perry's entrance into the race on Saturday, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty dropped out.
Pawlenty was considered an alternative to the more moderate Romney, but despite solid fund-raising and organization, he never landed a message that resonated with voters. As Bachmann and Perry, who also has Tea Party support, build strong race bases from the ground up, Romney has spoke out Monday in the apparent attempt to present clear, differing GOP definition.
Texas is currently leading the country in job creation, and Perry is making that a signature proclamation of his campaign in the early going. Thus, Romney worked Monday to show and tell that he's the best at job creation.
But one place Romney doesn't want to create jobs is in the federal thicket. He said Monday he will soon unveil a plan to trim the federal workforce and bring pay and benefits in line with the private sector.
"We've got too many of them and they're paid too much," said Romney, in a statement.