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Gov. Rick Perry: 2012 Presidential Race Was 'Humbling,' But Not Ruling Out 2016 Run

Gov. Rick Perry appeared on "CBS This Morning" Thursday.

Gov. Rick Perry continued his New York adventure Thursday with an appearance on “CBS This Morning.” He’s in the Empire State to try to lure businesses back to Texas. He talked about why he’s challenging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to a debate over economic policy, his failed 2012 presidential bid, and the simmering dispute over cattle in Nevada.

On “CBS This Morning,”Perry didn’t commit to a 2016 presidential run -- but he's not ruling it out, either. For now, he says, he’s “promoting Texas business.” In Texas, Perry is the focus of a grand jury investigation that could cause quite a bit of difficulty if he does run. A judge has seated a grand jury in Austin to consider whether Perry abused his power when he carried out a threat to veto $7.5 million in state fundingfor public corruption prosecutors.

CBS Interview Highlights: Gov. Rick Perry …

… on why he’s in New York: It’s a two-fold mission … I’m unabashedly a proponent of low taxes and a regulatory climate that’s fair and predictable, and a legal system that doesn’t allow for over-suing its skilled workforce, and we have all those in the state of Texas. But it’s also to drive a conversation. I asked the governor [of New York] to consider having a debate over these issues, and I think it would be instructional for the country to see two very large, substantive state governors sit down and talk.

… on his poor performance during the 2012 presidential race: One of the more humbling experiences that I had in life was going through the 2011-2012 process running for the presidency. I learned a lot of lessons, the least of which is if you’re going to run for president, I highly recommend you don’t have major back surgery six weeks before you start, and that you spend a lot of time in preparation. I think preparation, no matter what I’m going to do in my future life post-governorship of Texas, the preparation of – whether it’s foreign policy, good economic policies, a broad array of issues that you need to have your hand and mind around – is good. And that will serve me well, but until that day happens ... I’m going to be promoting Texas business.

… on what he’s learned from the 2012 campaign: I think how people respond when they’ve been knocked down is a better reflection of their character than if everything’s all blue sky and the wind behind your back. I’ve had the wind in my face, I’ve been knocked down, and I’m ready to move on.

… on whether Jeb Bush will run for president: I don’t know and it’s way early. Jeb’s a very capable man and a friend and a good governor when he was down in Florida. I’m going to be spending my time over the course of the next nine months making sure that Rick Scott gets elected in Florida and Susana Martinez over in New Mexico and working with the governors across the country and talking about these blue state versus red state policies, and hopefully Andrew Cuomo will come and debate us about those one of these days.

... on the Nevada standoff between armed protesters and federal agents (Saying Cliven Bundy owed substantial back fees for allowing cattle to graze on federal land, the Bureau of Land Management had begun rounding up his cattle. But following protests from Bundy and hundreds of others, some armed, the BLM backed down): The federal government and how the federal government deals with these issues of private citizens, whether it’s on the public lands – in the state of Texas we have a big issue about whether this is private land or this is public land. And rather than sending armed troops, I don’t think that is the way that the government should be handling any of these things with its own citizens. We saw a huge debacle in Waco ... I hope our government officials are very, very wise and use common sense when it comes to these issue.

... on Cliven Bundy’s racist comments published in The New York Times (Bundy is a Nevada rancher who has resisted the federal government's attempts to round up his cattle): I don’t know what he said, but the fact is, Cliven Bundy is a side issue here compared to what we’re looking at in the state of Texas. He is an individual. Deal with his issues as you may. What we have in the state of Texas, I don’t get distracted about, is the federal government is coming in and attempting, from our perspective, to take over private property.

Watch the interview

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.