Hutchison told the influential Texas Association of Business' national affairs conference Wednesday that she hoped to work with business leaders "at the state level in the future."
She focused on what she said were problems with public education and Texas' new business tax, which she called "an abject failure."
Bill Hammond, head of the business group which supported the new tax, credited Gov. Rick Perry with improving the climate for business, the newspaper said. If Hutchison runs for governor, she probably would have to face Perry,also a Republican.
Hutchison didn't mention Perry but said state leaders hurt businesses when they overhauled the franchise tax as part of a school-finance fix in 2006.
"It's a corporate income tax," she said. "Just make no mistake about it."