Former president Bill Clinton says that he's "tickled" to see Texas Governor Rick Perry enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
The Lone Star State Republican declared his candidacy for president of the United States during a stop in South Carolina over the weekend. The New York Observer reports that Clinton said he "got tickled" by watching the announcement while speaking at a fire fighter’s conference in the Big Apple on Monday. He quipped, "He’s a good looking rascal."
Meanwhile, Perry says that he hopes he's "President Obama’s worst nightmare." The Texas governor made the assertion while speaking to Fox News' Carl Cameron in Iowa on Monday.
"He’s the real problem," Perry suggested. "It’s his policies. It’s his EPA administrator. It’s his people he has put in place that are strangling America with the regulations and the debt. Americans have had enough."
The newly-minted Republican candidate also explained how he differentiates himself from former president George W. Bush.
“They’re not all carbon copies in Texas," explained Perry. "I tell people that one of the quick ways you can tell the difference is he is a Yale graduate and I’m a Texas A&M graduate. But the fact is, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. The next President of the United States, what state you’re from doesn’t matter. What matters is what is in their heart, what’s in their mind. What’s in my mind and what’s in my heart is we are going to get America working again.”
Perry recently told Time magazine that he reached out to Bush early in his decision-making process on whether or not to vie for the White House. According to Carrie Dan at NBC News, the GOP hopeful said on Monday that the country needs a president who is "in love with America."
While speaking to Fox News, Perry also shared his take on rival Republican presidential contenders U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
The Texas governor called Bachmann "a ball of fire." The pair of candidates crossed paths in Iowa on Sunday night; however, the Associated Press reports that they never met face-to-face at the Hawkeye State gathering.
"She came in after we had been there for about an hour and a half," Perry said. "But anyway, we’ll meet and we’ll have a good chance to shake and howdy and I’ll get to know her even better."
Perry also sought to draw a contrast between himself and Romney.
“I say, look at the record," he explained. "Look at the record of Massachusetts while he was the Governor there. Look at the record of Texas while I’ve been the Governor there. We created more jobs than any other state in the nation -- from June of 2009 until present, 40 percent of all the jobs in America. Nobody in this race can say that."
Asked by CNN about a mild jab Romney took at Perry on the heels of his presidential announcement, the Texas governor reportedly blew a kiss and said, "Give him my love."