CONCORD, NH -- Rick Perry took a broad swipe at Mitt Romney in the former Massachusetts governor's backyard Friday, telling local radio station WKXL that Romney could not be counted on to be a "consistent" president.
"Consistency I think is very important," he said, "You may not agree with me on everything, but you don't have to wake up in the morning and wonder is Rick Perry going to be the same guy in two years that he was two years ago. And the answer to that is yup, he will be."
Pressed by hosts to criticize Romney by name, Perry said Romney has changed positions on gun rights and the Obama-passed health care law.
"Like it or not, the governor has been on opposite sides on a lot of issues," Perry said. "He was for banning handguns, now he's Mr. Second Amendment. He was the father of Obamacare."
"I don't believe in government-mandated health care," he added. "Not in a state, and not in a federal government."
Perry said that his strong emphasis on social issues, like abortion and faith does not preclude him from doing well in in independent-heavy New Hampshire.
"Your position on social issues is going to be your position," Perry said. "I've got mine, and I'm going to be very strong in standing up for them whatever that may be. I'm no expert when it comes to what religion that you're going to choose or what have you. But what I am an expert on is job creation."
Perry also tweaked the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters, noting a quote from one of the activists sent to him by his son Griffin.
"He said you know, we got here at 9 am and those people -- and this was in Toronto -- I think Bay Street is their comparable -- he said those bankers that we came to insult, they'd already been at work for two hours when we got here at 9 o'clock. And when we get ready to leave, they're still in there working. I guess greed just makes you work hard."
The radio interview, which included questions from GOP
Senate gubernatorial candidate and noted New Hampshire conservative Ovide LaMontagne took place in Concord Restaurant The Barley House. After the interview, the candidate accepted a "Texas Perry Burger" from the chef, which consisted of a coffee-rubbed beef, brisket, coleslaw, barbecue sauce, an onion ring, and a jalapeno bun.
"I'm all over it," Perry said before nibbling at a single fry. (He declined to take a big bite in front of press, opting instead for the take-out option.)
"That's awesome," he said.
*** UPDATE *** Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul sends on this response: