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Hutchison balks at praising Perry

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), speaking with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC’s "Daily Rundown" this morning, said she thinks Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running for president, but balked at offering her fellow Texan praise.

“I do think he's running; I think that's very clear,” Hutchison said. “He's putting all of the building blocks in place.”

She would not say, however, if she would support a particular candidate. “I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm looking for the candidate who can win. I want a candidate who can fix this economy. I'd like to see someone with the experience necessary to do that.”

But does she think Perry has the requisite experience?

“Well he certainly has government experience,” Hutchison said. For a conservative, particularly one running for president, a long resume of government work is not necessarily a compliment one wants.

Hutchison added that her preference is for leaders who have private experience, saying: “I’ve always felt like we need people who have really been in the private sector, as well and have actually created jobs.”

In fact, for a politician with such an anti-government lean, Perry has spent nearly his whole career as a government official. He has worked in government for more than 27 consecutive years since being elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1984. If Perry is elected president, he will have served 28 consecutive years doing government work, longer than any candidate ever elected to the White House.

Hutchison’s less-than-enthusiastic take on Perry, of course, comes as no surprise. A year ago, Hutchison lost a hotly contested gubernatorial primary challenge to him.