Nov 10, 2014 3:23 PM

Kevin Landrigan: Gov. Rick Perry taking time to decide on 2016 GOP run

MANCHESTER - Texas Governor Rick Perry says in the wake of last week's victories, Capitol Hill republicans now taking charge need to make progress on tax reform, the Keystone pipeline and immigration.

The mistake they should not make is to think the voters actually took a liking to the GOP message, Perry says.

"I don't think the message was we love you republicans, in particular. It was we are really tired of gridlock, we don't like the policies coming out of the White House and the Democrat-controlled Senate. We're going to give you Republicans one more chance to govern,'' Perry said.

Perry told reporters he'll take until late next spring to decide whether to mount a second presidential bid admitting painful lessons were learned from his badly failed attempt in 2012.

"May or June is my guess when I'll make a decision on whether to go forward. I learned some hard lessons, frustrating lessons in 2011, 2012,'' Perry said.

This visit with seven stops Sunday and Monday was meant to make up for lost time among potential presidential hopefuls since Perry did not make a visit during the fall general election campaign.

During that period, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came five times with his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association while Kentucky Senator Rand Paul came twice.

Even though Perry didn't stump here, he did send cash, $60,000 to the state party and specific candidates through his political action committee.

And Perry welcomed the shakeup at the Veterans Administration that will include eventually firing up to 1,000 employees at the scandal-ridden agency.

"If heads need to roll, let them roll because whatever we need to do needs to be focused on making sure that the men and women who held their hand up and said, here I am, send me for this country are taken care of,'' Perry said.

Governor perry hopes his management successes set him apart from the pack of senators also eying the white house in 2016.

But over the next six months as he decides to run, Perry says those same senators - Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz - need to show they can govern.

On that score, Perry told conservative Breibart News on the eve of this two-day exploratory trip that a US senator will not be the next president, an obvious dig at Rand Paul et al.

Asked about the comment, Perry confirmed he made it but when asked to elaborate, he wryly smiled and walked away from reporters.


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