By Geneva Sands - 08/14/12 05:21 PM EDT
"In my opinion governors don't make the best presidents. That's my opinion and it's because they don't have the foreign policy experience and they have to learn on the job," she said on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" in an interview that aired Tuesday.
"Governors get elected for two reasons. Number one, they don't have as many issues as senators because we have voted on every controversial issue in the world," she said. "Governors say, 'Well, we are executives.' And they are. And they sometimes make tough decisions and they have very innovative plans. But I think to dismiss senators and say 'governors make better presidents' is a mistake, because the foreign policy experience is so important."
Hutchison "enthusiastically" endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the GOP presidential nominee in May.
In the MSNBC interview, Hutchison brushed aside concerns about Romney's perceived insulation, saying that the Republican candidate's business experience would bring needed economic perspective to the presidency.
"That's what we're lacking in the government, in this crisis. He has run a big operation and done it well … I definitely think the private-sector experience makes him much more able to realize [the effects of] new regulations and new taxes and all of this constraint that we put on the job creators in this country — he can speak to that and he knows it," she said.
Hutchison, who has served in the Senate since 1993, is not seeking another term.
She lamented attacks against Republicans who compromise on legislation, saying that although she is a conservative, she has been "dubbed a moderate."
"I am not a moderate. I am a conservative. I'm a fix-it conservative," she said.
Hutchison said that she believes there's a divide between people who "just want to blow things up" and conservative legislators who compromise, citing her work passing FAA and highway bills.
"In my opinion there is no such thing as a RINO [Republican in Name Only]. Nothing makes me madder than someone making fun of a Republican that isn't exactly the way they are. We are here to represent our states and if someone is a Republican and wants to be a Republican, they should be welcome in the Republican Party," she said.
The Texas lawmaker told MSNBC, in the exit interview, that in hindsight she had regrets about her vote in favor of the bank bailout.
"We needed to help the banks in a way that would not allow the whole world economy to collapse, but the representation that was made to the senators about how it would be done was totally changed within six weeks of the bailout vote," Hutchison said.
Although she believed the vote achieved its goal, she said she "felt betrayed" by the way the administration implemented the law.
"It was very difficult, and especially in Texas when George Bush asks you to vote for something and you do and then your governor attacks you for it, that's pretty tough," she said.
When pressed on whether she was done running for office, the senator said "probably."
"I can't even imagine running for office again. However, I never want to say never."