The Colorado Independent’s Troy Hooper reports:
The swashbuckling 61-year-old was the main attraction in an hour-and-a-half conversation with Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson along with four other governors: New Mexico’s Susana Martinez, South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker.
He and the others were in town for the Republican Governors Association’s two-day executive roundtable convened by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Despite its liberal reputation, Aspen is increasingly becoming the backdrop for conservative headline makers and, with momentum mounting in the polls, all eyes were on Perry to see whether he’ll make a viable presidential candidate.
Asked point blank if he’s going to run, the governor said he’ll know in three or four weeks.
“I’m going through a thoughtful process. I’m asking the right questions,” he answered, prompted by Isaacson. “I’m basically asking people, ‘Do you think there’s room in this presidential election for a full-throated, unapologetic fiscal conservative? And if you do think there is room, are you going to help?'”
While dodging a direct declaration of his candidacy, Perry didn’t hold back on his thoughts about gay marriage, Lance Armstrong, the economy and his self-perceived foreign policy chops…
Rick Perry hasn’t broken out of the opinion poll pack as a hypothetical candidate, as we’ve discussed–he doesn’t appear to be any more able to defeat President Barack Obama than Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, or the rest of the second tier GOP candidates fighting for runner-up to Mitt Romney. But that could change if Perry formally gets in the race.
One thing we haven’t seen discussed much in relation to a possible Perry candidacy for president is Perry’s allegedly close friendship with former Colorado gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis. Remember when McInnis boasted regularly about his friendship with Perry, Perry’s hunting trips to McInnis’ ranch, and how Perry wanted McInnis to “join” with Texas against the federal government once elected governor of Colorado 10th Amendment style? And you know how earlier this year McInnis was, at least in his own mind, “cleared of responsibility” for the plagiarism scandal that ended his gubernatorial bid, right?
Interior Secretary Scott McInnis, anyone? Now that would be a comeback!