DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – While the Republican candidates for President were squaring off at a debate Thursday night, Texas Governor Rick Perry was circling the wagons. Perry is already drawing fire for touting the Lone Star state as a leader in job creation.

President Barack Obama’s Senior Campaign Strategist criticized the Governor for taking credit where credit is not due. During Friday morning’s CBS Early Show, David Axelrod came out swinging, “He’s been the beneficiary of the boom in oil prices. Obviously a state like Texas is going to benefit from that and with increased military spending, because Texas is home to many military bases,” added Axelrod.

Perry hasn’t officially announced and Democrats are already taking aim at him. CBS 11 political analyst, John Weekly, says it bodes well for the Governor. “One of the things that Governor Perry can take as a badge of pride is that the President has already gone after him before he’s even announced.”

Weekly says by putting a target on Perry’s back, the Democrats may have already anointed him as a top contender. “It’s not a stretch to say Perry may enter the race as competitive as the front-runner.”

Darlene Ewing is Chair of the Dallas County Democratic Party and says, like it or not, Governor Perry is a force to be reckoned with. “You better respect his political skill,” admitted Ewing. “Nobody takes out Kay Bailey Hutchison like he did. She’s a very popular Senator and he took her out with a head shot.”

Democrats say if Perry goes overboard touting Texas, it may lead to his downfall. While it’s likely to play well among Texans, Perry’s critics believe too much Texas will remind the rest of the country of George W. Bush, who left office with a low approval rating.