By Meghashyam Mali - 02/14/12 01:28 PM EST
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who abandoned his fight for the GOP nomination earlier this year, says he won't rule out a future run.
Asked during an interview with ABC's Jonathan Karl, posted online Monday, if he might seek the party's nomination again in the future, Perry responded "absolutely."
Perry had entered the GOP race in mid-August of last year and quickly rose to the top in multiple national polls.
However, his campaign was hurt after a series of poor debate performances, including one in which he failed to identify three government agencies he said he would shut down if elected president.
"Debates have absolutely nothing to do with governing. But they do have everything to do with political theater," Perry said reviewing his performance.
"It was great practice," he said of the debates.
Asked if that was a reference to a possible 2016 run, he responded "it could be."
Perry dropped out shortly before the South Carolina primary, where he had hoped to revive his campaign, when polls showed him trailing the GOP pack in fifth place.
Perry was a favorite of conservative voters, many of whom have been reluctant to rally around Romney. Perry said if he could give the former Massachusetts governor advice he would advise him to "stand up in front of the American people and say that what you did in Massachusetts on healthcare was wrong, and he never did that."
Polls have shown former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a favorite of social-conservative voters, surging into a virtual dead-heat with Romney nationally, thanks to Santorum’s trifecta of wins in GOP contests last week.
"I think this race is completely open,” said Perry. “I don't think anyone's got a lock on it at this particular time."