Long after his disappointing fifth-place finish in Iowa in 2012, Texas Gov. Rick Perry returned to the critical caucus state Thursday night – but does it mean he’s plotting a 2016 comeback?
Perry spoke at the Polk County Republican dinner, where he criticized Obama’s health care plan and wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a 2016 run.
“Well, I would do a number of things differently,” Perry said In the Hawkeye State of presidential speculation. “But I have no idea what I’m going to do, so to theorize about how I would, what I would do differently is a bit premature.”
But Perry could see a different opening to run for president, by capitalizing on frustration with the health care law and also touting the Lone Star State’s favorable business climate.
“Now what we’re seeing is an absolute abomination, a piece of legislation that is not anywhere near what the president said it was going to be,” the Texas governor said on The Daily Rundown Friday. “Putting more people on a broken system is tantamount to putting more people on the Titanic when you know how it’s going to end up.”
Perry, who believes Americans have lost trust in the president and Washington gridlock, argued that state government will start assuming a greater role in politics. And the focus of Republicans should be on getting more Republicans elected in 2014, he added.
“I think Americans don’t believe that the answers that are facing this country are going to be found out of Washington, D.C. They’re going to be found in state capitals where legislators and governors are working together,” Perry said. “Electing good, solid, principled, Republican, red-state governors in 2014 needs to be the focus that all of us have.”
One Republican blue-state governor, New Jersey’s Chris Christie, who has recently attracted a media frenzy as to whether he’s the likely Republican frontrunner, didn’t seem to worry him yet.
“There’s a lot of time between now and 2016,” he said. “I would suggest that Gov. Christie and the rest of us focus on 2014.”
But just after his appearance on The Daily Rundown, the South Carolina GOP announced that Perry would headline their Dec. 3 fundraising dinner – another appearance for Perry in a key early primary state.