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Rick Perry: 66 is the new 46

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Republican Party,Texas,2012 Elections,2016 Elections,Campaigns,Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, eyeing another presidential bid, isn't worried about the GOP's youth kick among the leading White House contenders.

Perry, 64, who would be 66 on Inauguration Day 2017, cheered, “66 is the new 46.”

In Washington for meetings, he said in an interview that he wasn’t ready in 2012, when he jumped in the race amid great hoopla but immediately tanked. Just being governor, he said, “doesn’t prepare you to run for president of the United States or be president of the United States.”

But he’s been brushing up on major topics and said that if he does decide next year to run again, “I will be prepared.”

He called his 2012 run “painful” but wants to remain engaged, telling reporters at a media roundtable organized by the Christian Science Monitor that he won’t “ride off into the sunset.”

Perry said “I’m a patriot — I do care about where this country is headed. I’m a competitor. I believe states competing against each other makes the fabric of our country stronger. Regardless of whether I decide to make a run for the presidency or not, I hope to stay engaged in that arena.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.