HARRISBURG, Pa. — To Rick Perry, the past is the past.
With the end of the Obama presidency coming within view, the only thing on the mind of the former Texas Governor is the future, a potential 2016 campaign, and a shot at redemption after falling flat during his initial 2012 campaign.
However, it’s clear: Perry is not ready for the GOP to replicate the Democrats and offer an inexperienced alternative, specifically a senator, to take up the mantle of the Republican Party forward and, ultimately, the United States presidency.
“Governors have to make choices every day. Governors are judged on the results of what we do,” Perry told The Daily Caller Friday night in the Pennsylvania capital city. “Senators talk.”
“United States senators, by choosing to go into that line of work, don’t get to do that. They don’t get to learn, or to exhibit their leadership ability and have clear results of their actions,” Perry remarked, who told. “I agree with Scott [Walker].
“If you want to judge — would you rather have someone who talks about aviation a lot and really gives a great speech about aerodynamics and about navigation and about weather and about all of the different things a pilot needs to know, but have only about 100 hours of being behind the yoke of an airliner,” Perry continued with his analogy. “Or would you rather have a 10,000 hour individual who has had to fly through storms… A grizzled vet. Pick one.”
Perry comments echoed those of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who told the Koch Summit in California on Sunday that both names on the 2016 GOP ticket need to be either a current or former governor.
“I understand why, in 2016, Americans are not going to have a desire to elect an unproven, untested, no results individual to lead this country,” Perry said later on before 500+ at the PA GOP’s Lincoln Dinner in Harrisburg. “We’re going to look for an experienced, competent leader who has a record of results, and that is what Americans are looking for.”
“We took our chance with this extraordinarily bright, capable, wonderful speaker who had no experience of running anything, and he proved it. Time after time after time,” Perry said panning President Obama.
With a trio of young senators taking hard looks at runs in 2016, including Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and fellow Texan Ted Cruz, Perry’s comments spoke volumes.
However, while Perry suggests a run from the any one of the trio will come with difficulties, he is surely aware of the challenges facing him three years removed from the end of his 2012 bid.
“I was a bit arrogant thinking that if I had been the governor of Texas for 12 years, then that would prepare me to talk about this myriad of issues that you face as a candidate,” Perry told TheDC. “I wasn’t. I think it was reflected between poor health and poor preparation. We had a poor campaign. ”
The former governor was fresh off his raucous, fist-pumping speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines. While Perry was in attendance, it was those missing that made just as much noise, especially former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who announced he would not be running for president for a third time.
Speaking of the two political heavyweights, Perry offered tempered compliments, while offering praise for his former opponent and rival during the 2012 campaign.
“Mitt was a very good, capable competitor. There’s going to be a lot of people in and out going back and forth. I’m not going to criticize anybody for getting in or getting out.” Perry said. “He’s a good man. He made the decision for whatever reason. I respect it,” Perry said, adding that he’s focused on his future, “not the horse race.”
Meanwhile, Perry spoke highly of Bush, a potential 2016 candidate who announced that he was actively exploring a presidential run in December. The former Florida governor has helped set the stage for the GOP’s 2016 fight for the nomination. Perry succeeded the George W. Bush, the older brother of Jeb, when he won the 2000 election.
“Jeb’s a quality candidate. Great family and a wonderful name. Folks will take a look at the record. They’ll distill down and see what differences there are,” Perry said of Jeb. “I’m proud of the 14 years and the results we had in Texas. Again, mine’s going to be less of pitting myself against someone else than I am talking about ‘here’s what I believe in, here’s what my record is, here are the results of the programs we’ve put in place.'”
Though with the clock ticking away before 2016, Perry has a one track mind and an unwavering view.
“We’re focused on our business,” he said. “I hope Americans are looking for a leader who is tested, who is experienced, and who has a record of results. If we focus on that, I’m pretty confident that I’m going to be in the mix, and I’m comfortable with that.”