President Obama was off base when he said America had gotten "soft" economically in recent decades, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in an interview with Fox News' Carl Cameron.

“Americans aren't soft,” Perry said. “We've got some bad policies on tax and regulation in D.C. that are kicking people out of jobs every day. That's the real tragedy. What we've got is a soft president.”

Perry, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, also attacked 2012 rival Mitt Romney in the Fox News interview conducted as he prepared for a town hall event in Derry, N.H. Perry is visiting a state that Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, counts as a critical stronghold, and Perry hit him again on health care.

“He understands that he has been on a lot of sides on the same issue, whether it was gun control or being for Obamacare, Romneycare, now he's not -- social issues on both sides of those,” Perry said. “So Mitt needs to get a position and stick with it. I mean, he's flipping more than that great movie star Flipper.”

Perry also admitted that his recent struggles in the Fox News/Google debate were symptomatic of a problem he’ll have to deal with going forward in the campaign.

“Obviously, I’m not best debater on the stage, that's pretty obvious. I'm not the smoothest politician. But here is what Americans do know about me, is i know what I believe in and everyday I'm going to go to work and make Washington as inconsequential in their lives.