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« Excerpts of President Obama's Afghanistan Speech | Blog Home Page | Rep. Woolsey: Majority Of Dems Will Vote Against War Funding »

Perry: Cross Me Off 2012 List

Rick Perry's national profile has been boosted this year, owing to his strong support of the Tea Party movement and vociferous criticism of the policies coming out of Washington. That's just one reason we put the Texas governor on our list of potential dark horses in the 2012 presidential election. But in an interview with RCP Tuesday afternoon, Perry said to cross his name off.

"No," he said bluntly when asked if he had any interest in a White House run in three years "My interest is in Texas."

Perry argued that "a successful, focused" governor in a major state like his can do just as much to put the nation on the right path.

"I hope that 2010 will not only see a substantial number of Republican governors who share those values elected across the country, but that in 2012 we put forward a candidate and elect that individual to be the president of the United States to be a partner with those states as we build this country back to the strong economic power that it needs to be," he said.

Perry had high praise for a former colleague, Sarah Palin, saying she would be a "very, very talented and incredibly focused candidate" should she decide to run. But, "I think it's a bit premature for us to be proclaiming her - I'll allow her the privilege of making that decision," he added.

In the interview, Perry also offered his thoughts on President Obama's planned announcement on Afghanistan, saying the commander in chief needed to heed the request of the commanders on the ground.

"We have the ability to continue to keep the fight against the Taliban and al Qaida in that part of the world," he said. "Those military leaders have spent a lifetime studying tactic and politics, and they are substantially better qualified, in my opinion, than the president [who's] trying to make a decision to placate those on the left who want him to unilaterally cut and run."

We'll have more of the interview with Perry later this week.