FORT WORTH - Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, thanked Texas Republican voters for "taking him over the line" in the state's primary in a Fort Worth stop Tuesday.
After calling former primary foe Gov. Rick Perry a "great friend," Romney started criticizing President Barack Obama over the economy and job creation, especially for Hispanics.
In red state Texas, Romney doesn't need to come here looking for enough votes. But he stopped in North Texas to do a little campaigning and a lot of fundraising.
With the competition cleared away, last week Texas GOP primary voters gave Romney the winning support long denied here, and he basked in the glow.
"Thank you Texas," he exclaimed in his opening remarks, "for taking me over the line to get the nomination."
But Romney still irritates some leading Texas Republicans for the lack of attention to such a big conservative state. Romney is spending two days raising money, but declined to appear at the state GOP convention later this week in Fort Worth.
Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas Steve Munisteri recently told the Dallas Morning News Romney's inattention is "befuddling."
At this lone public event, Romney criticized President Obama for Hispanic unemployment rising to 11 percent in May, higher than the national average of 8.2 percent. Romney blamed conditions under the president.
"Hispanic Americans in large measure have looked to entrepreneurs, innovators and small business people to get going, but this has been an anti-small business, hostile small business environment."
Romney looks for some way to appeal to more Hispanics after taking a hard line on immigration in the primaries and opposing the DREAM Act.
DREAM Act protesters tried to disrupt the event Tuesday, but police quickly took them out.
Outside, Tarrant County Democratic Chairman Steve Maxwell said job creation dropped in Massachusetts when Romney was governor.
"And he's repeating the exact same formula for the country," Maxwell said.
But there is little doubt Romney will carry Texas in November.
There is also little doubt he'll raise big money here. He had a fundraiser in downtown Dallas after the public event, another in Highland Park Tuesday night, and three Wednesday in Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston.