By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

CONCORD, N.H (CBS) – On the campaign trail Monday in New Hampshire, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney had only kind words for his recently announced rival for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota formally announced her candidacy Monday in Waterloo, Iowa.  Meanwhile, Romney met with voters in the Granite State, where he remains the front-runner.

“I think she’s a strong contender, she’s an excellent candidate, she’s getting her message across and receiving good support,” Romney said of Bachmann.  “I have nothing but respect for her.”

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.

A recent poll shows Bachmann virtually tied with Romney in Iowa. According to the UNH Survey Center, Romney still enjoys a strong lead in New Hampshire.

“I can only say congratulations to her for the traction she’s getting and look forward to seeing her on the trail,” Romney said to reporters.

At a stop at Lincoln Financial in Concord, Romney kept his focus on the economy and jobs, and on President Obama.

“The Obama administration has not been able to deal with the number one issue that the country was concerned about when he became president, which was the economy,” said Romney. “He did not cause the recession, but he made it worse, by not focusing his energy and passion on getting Americans back to work.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports.

Would he consider making Bachmann his running mate? Romney says, “Way too early to suggest who might be on a ticket. I am hoping I’ll be on the ticket at the top, and if I get I’ll go to part two, which is who else might be there.”

Michele Bachmann will be campaigning in New Hampshire on Tuesday.


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