CORONADO, Calif. (AP) — Conceding there was more “excitement than preparation” for his first presidential bid, Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday declared himself ready for a second White House run should he decide to enter the crowded 2016 Republican field.
“I don’t shy away from the fact that I have been preparing. Preparation’s done. I’m ready,” he said in a Friday interview with The Associated Press. “But I will announce at the appropriate time my intentions.”
Perry, who leaves office next week after more than 14 years as Texas’ leader, said he was wrong to think he could give 100 percent in his failed 2012 presidential campaign while still serving as a sitting governor.
“You can’t give 100 percent of your time to both,” he said shortly after speaking at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting near San Diego. “There are maybe some people who are a little bit arrogant that think they can do that, and you’re looking at one of them.”
Trying to shake off a disastrous 2012 campaign scarred by his “oops” moment during a nationally televised debate, Perry is likely to join a crowded presidential field that includes sitting governors, most notably New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
In Friday’s interview, Perry declined to criticize former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who shocked the political world last week by signaling serious interest in a third presidential campaign.
“It doesn’t change my dynamic. It doesn’t change my strategy,” Perry said when asked about Romney. “We’re doing what we need to be doing.”
Perry has spent much of the last two years meeting with policy experts on various topics to improve his knowledge and profile while he considered a second run. He suggests he was persuaded to run in 2012 before he was ready.
“I got 14 years of preparation as governor running the most successful state in the nation,” he said. “I spent the last 23 months in deep preparation on monetary, domestic, foreign policy. I’m ready.”
In a speech to Republican National Committee members earlier Friday, he blasted the Obama administration for “a crisis of competence.” He argued that more robust energy production would accelerate the economic recovery and strengthen the U.S. internationally.
Perry said America “is looking for a new path forward and, starting today, let’s give it to them.”
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