A governor eyed by some as a 2012 Republican contender for the White House stressed that his focus is on leading the nation's GOP governors and working with new leadership on Capitol Hill to assert states' rights.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday that the Republican Governors Association has already been meeting with the incoming Speaker of the House about turning authority back toward the states.
"John Boehner totally gets it," Perry said of the Ohio Republican on Fox News. "He understands the 10th Amendment and allowing the states to be competitive. We're talking to him about concepts of allowing block granting, for instance, on Medicaid. Allowing the states to come up for the best ways to deliver that."
Perry, who will be leading the RGA, said that the GOP governors will also be pushing their case in the Senate, where Democrats' majority will be slimmer next year.
"So, whether it's transportation, infrastructure, whether it's educating our children," Perry said, "giving the states the right and the power and the authority to put those programs in place — block grant them. We can save the federal government billions of dollars as well as our citizens of the state of Texas substantial dollars just by allowing that block granting."
When pressed on whether his crusade against federal government interference and big spending would translate into a 2012 run for the White House, Perry said he hoped someone would run who would stand up and "try to make Washington as inconsequential" as possible.
"Not for me," Perry said. "I happen to think that the governors are where the action is."
When pressed on whether that was a "definite maybe," Perry shot back, "As a definite no, brother."