Perry to decide on White House run in 18 months

Feb. 21, 2014 at 2:12 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he'll decide sometime around August 2015 if he'll make a second run for the White House.

"I'll make that decision in about 18 months," the 2012 presidential hopeful told CNN, explaining he was now focused on this year's midterm elections.

"Those that focus past 2014 is making a huge mistake. I'm not looking past 2014," Perry told the network in remarks quoted by the Hill newspaper.

Perry announced in South Carolina Aug. 13, 2011, he was running for the following year's GOP presidential nomination.

He entered the race to much fanfare but his campaign had early struggles, and Perry particularly stumbled in the GOP presidential hopefuls' debates.

The governor also lost conservative support when he defended the Texas policy of allowing in-state tuition for children of immigrants living in the state without legal permission.

Perry suspended his campaign in January 2012 and eventually endorsed Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Perry, who succeeded George W. Bush as Texas' governor in December 2000 when Bush resigned to become president, said last July he would not run for a fourth term as governor, saying he planned to retire.

But the National Review later quoted people close to Perry as saying the governor might consider a 2016 White House bid.

When the CNN interviewer said he imagined he would see Perry in key primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, Perry said, "Lord willing."

Perry turns 64 March 5.

Perry declined to say if he thought he could beat Hillary Clinton, often named as a possible Democratic presidential hopeful.

"I have no idea," he said. "That is so hypothetical."

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