Perry to make decision about 2016 in 18 months

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said Thursday he’ll decide in the next year and a half whether to make a second run for the White House.

In an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” Perry said the focus now should only be on this year’s midterm elections.

“Those that focus past 2014 is making a huge mistake. I’m not looking past 2014,” he said.

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Asked when he’ll make a decision about 2016, Perry said, “I'll make that decision in about 18 months.”

Perry entered the 2012 race for the GOP nomination to much fanfare, but his candidacy cratered after he repeatedly stumbled in debates. 

Perry has served as governor of Texas since 2000, succeeding George W. Bush. But he is not running for another term.

Hillary Clinton would be considered the Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential race if she were to declare a run. Blitzer asked Perry if he thinks he could beat her in the general election.

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

At the end of the interview, Blitzer said he suspects he’ll see Perry in key primary states in the future such as Iowa and New Hampshire, which likely presidential contenders usually visit before the cycle begins. 

“Lord willing,” Perry said.  

Blitzer asked Perry about his decision not to attend a recent visit New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) made to Texas as chairman of the Republican Governor's Association. 

“We have our own schedules and our own lives. He came in to raise money for the RGA,” said Perry, who also noted Christie didn't attend a visit Perry made to New Jersey. 

“We're on the same team,” Perry clarified. “We have a goal of electing Republican governors.”

Perry did call Christie a “competitor,” but said he meant that in terms of their competition to succeed as GOP governors, not in terms of a White House race.