Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday he jumped into the last presidential campaign too late, but learned a thing or two from the experience as he considers his political future.
“If I were to be making a plan for 2016, coming to Iowa early and often will be part of it,” Perry said, ABC News reported
“But that’s a bit premature.”
Perry entered the 2012 Republican campaign with high anticipation
, but was late to the game, starting his candidacy less than five months before the first votes were cast and struggled to recover from a series of early gaffes.
He finished fifth in the Iowa caucuses and left the race after the South Carolina primary.
In an interview
with The Des Moines Register, Perry said the embarrassing loss he suffered in Iowa still stings, but he’s all about looking to the future — and reconnecting with those who didn’t absorb his message the first time.
“I don’t think we had enough time to go have that thoughtful conversation where people could really absorb, ‘Here are these policies and here are the results of these policies, and is that how you make your family happier?’” he told the newspaper.
Perry leaves the governor's office in January 2015.
On the opening stop of a two-day visit to Iowa — where the precinct caucuses have traditionally kicked off the race for the White House — Perry met with business leaders over lunch, highlighting his economic record during his dozen years as the governor of Texas.
“It’s fun to be back in Iowa again and see some old familiar faces and continue a conversation that we started nearly two years ago,” Perry said, adding that “2016 is so far down the road. It will all take care of itself and sort itself out at the appropriate time.”
He also was headliner for the Polk County Republican fundraising dinner Thursday night.
Perry told the Register neither a tea party candidate nor a more mainstream Republican could win the presidency alone.
“I think it takes all of them working together," he said. "And so, finding our middle ground – listen, I’m a big believer that most Republicans, most conservatives don’t think that the answers are going to be found in Washington, D.C.”
He emphasized the need to address the energy policy, the tax code, and "how to bring off-shore money back into the country to create jobs."
Those are three things economically that you could put into place [as president] – I mean, it wouldn’t just kick-start, I think it would explode the American economy,” Perry answered. “People are ready to invest, but we’ve got tax policies and regulatory policies in place that are very onerous to our country right now.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, also a Texas Republican, was in Iowa two weeks ago
to headline a state Republican Party fundraising dinner.
ABC News reported that, without mentioning Cruz's name, Perry said it was Republican governors who were the party’s most tested leaders, saying: “The real future of America is in the state capitals."
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