US President Barack Obama's top reelection strategist charged Friday that Republican White House hopeful and TexasGovernor Rick Perry had "very little to do" with his state's economic success.
"There's a specific reason that Texas has done so well, and that's because the oil industry has done so well in the last few years, and the military has grown because of the challenges that we have had overseas," said David Axelrod.
"And so he's been the beneficiary of things that he had very little to do with," Axelrod told ABC television.
The preemptive strike came one day before Perry, who succeeded George W. Bush in the Texas governor's mansion in 2000, was to formally launch his bid for the Republican nomination to take on Obama in the November 2012 elections.
Perry, campaigning for months in all but name, has been touting his home state's growth and jobs creation over the past decade at a time when the sour national economy and its 9.1 percent unemployment rate are voters' top worry.
"I am a pro-business governor. I will be a pro-business president," Perry told Time magazine in an interview released Thursday, highlighting his opposition to taxes and regulation.
Axelrod also charged that Perry had a "record of decimation, not of progress" on health care and education -- two areas where the governor's Texas foes also say he has done more harm than good.
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