The Texas governor proclaims his "love affair" with guns, and heightens the contrast with rivals who seem more comfortable in business-casual than Day-Glo.

“As long as I’ve got memory, I had something to go hunting with,” Perry told reporters at the Loess Hills Hunting Preserve in Iowa, according to The Washington Post. “It was a long love affair with a boy and his gun that turned into a man and his gun, and then it turned into a man and his son and his daughter and their guns.”

The aim here was not just to prove to Iowans that Perry is a gun-toter and one of their own kind. It was to show that his rivals are not. More from The Post:

The contrast was clear. It’s difficult to imagine Obama clad in camouflage and highway-worker orange hunting pheasants on a chilly Iowa morning. The same could be said for Mitt Romney, Perry’s chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination.

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Romney found himself repeatedly explaining his hunting experience. The former Massachusetts governor called himself a lifelong hunter. At one 2007 stop, he said he had “been a hunter pretty much all my life.” At another, he said: “I’m not a big-game hunter. I’ve always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will.”

But those comments got Romney in some hot water, as his campaign later acknowledged that Romney had gone hunting just twice — shooting rabbits in Idaho with cousins as a teenager and quail with donors in Georgia in 2006.

Appearances don't tell the whole story — as gun control advocates would surely advise about the current president, who has said, like the Roberts Supreme Court, that he believes the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But on guns, Perry is out to win the arms, and the image race.