Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

McDonnell wanted to show him he wasn’t playing favorites — he has not endorsed in the presidential race.

“I have invited him several times,’’ McDonnell told reporters Monday night in New Hampshire. “I would love to have him come, raise money for the party, help us win these elections in November in Virginia. We’re still trying to work out dates but he’s got an open invitation. I’m hoping I can get him there.”

Romney, who has picked up the support of Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, has quietly come into the state a handful of times this election cycle to raise money for his campaign.

Bur Perry spoke this month at a fundraiser for the Virginia Republican Party that was initially expected to attract a few hundred people and grew to 1,080 guests and a campaign-style rally after he announced his candidacy.

McDonnnell fielded questions about the presidential race Monday after speaking to a crowd of more than 400 at a fundraiser for New Hampshire Republicans, his first major national address since taking the helm of the Republican Governors Association.

He said he may not endorse in the presidential race, but will wait until after Virginia’s November elections to make a decision.

“I think what’s more important is what endorsements they get from a large number of the American people as opposed to individual governors,’’ he said.