Perry speaks out for first time since he dropped out of GOP presidential race

February 21, 2012 5:36:55 PM PST
Texas Governor Rick Perry has kept a low profile since dropping out of the Republican race for the White House last month. But now he's speaking out about his campaign, his future political plans, and lessons learned.

After a month back in Texas, Governor Perry isn't all that reflective on his losing bid for the White House

"It always feels good to be home," Perry told us.

But he does admit it was a humbling end.

"If you don't get your tail kicked in once in a while, you're probably not playing at a high enough level. But it's a great process," Perry said.

He says some of his ideas still make sense.

"I hope the Republican nominee fully embraces a flat tax," said Perry.

That he is not done fighting for what he believes in.

"I am still as energized as I once was. We just came home and reloaded and we're fighting on a different front," Perry told us.

And that neither a run for re-election in 2014, nor another run for the White House in 2016 is off the table.

"We may get to talk about it again some day," Perry said.

But what about some of those moments we haven't forgotten about from the last run, such as that "Oops" moment in a debate on November 9, 2011.

When we asked Perry if he could tell if it was a pivotal moment in his campaign, he replied, "My instinct is that the people who are looking for a reason not to be for you, that was pivotal for them."

A recent poll for Texas newspapers showed that 45 percent of Texans think Perry's presidential campaign hurt the state's image, and his approval rating was the lowest it's ever been. But he's not willing to let that be the last word.

"The idea that I am supposed to ride off into the sunset -- I am sure there are people who want me to do that -- but the fact is I still have work to do," Perry said.

First on his agenda is preparing for the next legislative session.