Perry: 'I'm not slipping off into the sunset'

"I'm not slipping off into the sunset, I'm not riding off into the West," said Perry at a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Williamson County, reported The Texas Tribune. "I've got plenty of fight left in this old 61-year-old body."

Perry withdrew his candidacy and endorsed his one-time opponent Newt Gingrich last month after a string of disappointing debate performances and low showings in early GOP primary contests.

He joked about his failed candidacy in his speech, telling the crowd that graduates of Texas A&M University "have a really interesting way of admitting defeat."

"We've never been out-scored. We just run out of time and the fact is I'm really not used to running out of time," he said

The Texas governor praised the all places around the United States that he and his wife, Anita Perry, were able to experience "up-close" during the campaign.

"I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world. It was just extraordinary. I would not trade it for anything that I've ever done in my 60-plus years of living," he said.

Perry, who vowed to continue his work in Texas, also said that the movement he campaigned on is "bigger than any one man or woman."

"It goes forward at a ballot box near you in 2012," he said.