Republican-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer took aim Thursday at politicians and journalists who have pressed him on his refusal to give any details about how he would resolve the state's multibillion-dollar projected budget shortfall.

At a speech in his hometown of Delano, Emmer singled out "our friends in the media" when he reiterated his determination not "get down into the weeds and start talking about blades of grass."

"I am not running to be the accountant for the state of Minnesota," he said at a Delano Chamber of Commerce luncheon. "I am running to be a leader that operates this business."

The larger issue, he said, is that over the past decades, the swollen state government has snuffed out the entrepreneurial spirit.

"We are not going to get into a public square debate about, 'Are we going to have to get rid of this save-the-hungry-program versus this save-the-homeless-program?'" Emmer said.

Emmer, who does not face a serious primary challenge, has said he will release his plan in October.