Texas Gov. Rick Perry is among the Republicans — and potential 2016 presidential hopefuls — courting conservatives this week at CPAC. The 64-year-old talked with ABC News about his travels to Iowa and South Carolina, and even revealed which Democrat he would most want to have a beer with.
Here’s an edited transcript of six questions we asked Perry:
1. What’s the one thing you most want to accomplish before you leave office?
Well, obviously, to continue to build the economy in the state of Texas. We’re working on some major projects, all of them a bit confidential from the standpoint of saying any names or what have you, but some of the largest projects that we’ve ever worked on before – and, hopefully, we can have them finalized.
2. Was Tuesday’s Texas primary a good day or a bad day for the Tea Party?
It was a good day for Texans, by and large, from the standpoint we had very active elections – I’m pretty sure because the governorship was opened up by my departure and you had the trickle-down effect.
3. You’ve been traveling a lot to Iowa and South Carolina. Are you hoping to re-brand yourself from 2012?
I’m a big believer that the governors of South Carolina and Iowa deserve to be re-elected. That’s my focus, and I’m going to be traveling to substantially more states than Iowa and South Carolina. 2016 and beyond will take care of itself when it’s appropriate for it to, so I’m staying real focused on between now and the 7th of November. (Election Day actually is Nov. 4).
4. Do you think John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are true conservatives?
Sure, yeah, absolutely. When you look at the alternatives of the individuals are going to be on the Democrat side, I’m not confused at all that Boehner and McConnell will serve us well.
5. Who’s one Democrat you’d want to have a beer with?
Joe Manchin is a really great fella. I’m a big fan of his. He was very helpful to Texas back when he was the governor of West Virginia, and old Joe would be good to drink a beer with.
6. Why did you start wearing glasses? And are your cowboy boots gone for good?
I wouldn’t say they were gone forever. I’ve found that my shoes are more comfortable. After I had the back surgery, the flatter is better for my back. Glasses are a part of growing older.