Paul Steinhauser: Rick Perry says he's prepared this time around
CONCORD - Rick Perry says he's learned from his mistakes.
And if the now former Texas governor runs for the Republican presidential nomination again, as is likely, he says "coming to New Hampshire often, early, is very important."
Perry made his comments in a sit down interview with NH1 Thursday. Perry's stop at NH1's studios was part of a packed itinerary during his two-day swing through the first-in-the-nation primary state.
"You gotta be healthy. I was off of major back surgery thinking that six weeks I could perform at a high level and that was not the case. And the second part, a little bit arrogant in thinking that 12 years of being the governor of Texas was all that you needed to stand on the stage and talk about monetary policy, domestic policy, foreign policy, that's not the case. That is in-depth issues that you have to spend months if not years in deep study on and that's exactly what I've done," Perry said.
Perry was a late entry into the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. While he initially soared in the polls, his campaign faltered, due in part to some high profile gaffes, and he ended his White House bid in January 2012, after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary. Perry, who spent little time campaigning in the Granite State, grabbed less than 1 percent of the primary vote.
Asked if he can compete with the ferocious fundraising of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who's moving closer and closer to launching a GOP presidential campaign, Perry said "money's important, having enough. We'll have enough. But it's not everything."
Perry praised some of his probable competitors, telling NH1 that "Jeb is a really good man from an incredibly fine family. Chris Christie and Scott Walker, all those are those people who have executive experience. I welcome them to the contest they raise the level of competition."
"We're going to compete and talk about our records. I'll pretty much put my record against anyone's," he added.
Greg Abbott, Perry's successor as Texas governor, is proposing some changes to some of Perry's legacy programs from his record 14 years in Austin. Asked if that will affect Perry's ability to tout his record if he runs for the White House, he said "I don't think so at all. Times change and programs change."
In a not-so-veiled shot at three first-term senators who are likely GOP presidential contenders, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, Perry said he thinks the next Republican nominee will be a governor, adding that "I do think that the executive experience that individuals get from running something big, making decisions, I don't get the chance to make a speech and walk off, we are held accountable."
This is Perry's second trip to the Granite State since last November's midterm elections. He started his two day swing headlining a business roundtable at Altos Marketing in Bedford. He also was the main attraction Wednesday night at the Seacoast Republican Women Dinner in Portsmouth and was closing his visit by keynoting the Strafford County Lincoln Day Dinner Thursday night in Dover. In between those stops, Perry met with GOP leaders and activists, and met with the media.
Perry recently made the transition from public to private life. He made fun of his transition, saying "I jokingly told some folks three weeks ago I was living in 10,000 square foot of rather tony address in downtown Austin, right across the street from the state capitol, on a square block of manicured lawns, a fabulous historical place built in 1856, a magnificent place to live. Today, 1,400 square foot, two-bedroom, two-bath condo with four dogs, no yard, full of boxes, so it's a transition but it's all good."