IRVING, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry may be dropping hints that he'll make a second run for the White House, although his announcement is not expected until later this year.
The Washington Times reports that the Republican said he plans to visit Israel in October "to bring together Arabs, Christian and Jews in an educational forum." Some political analysts say traveling to Israel is expected of conservative presidential hopefuls looking to establish foreign policy credentials and to get support from conservative Christians.
A Perry spokesman, Rich Parsons, told The Associated Press on Friday that the governor has indicated he plans to travel to Israel, and details will be announced "at the appropriate time." He declined further comment.
Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history and in the U.S., announced earlier this week that he won't seek a fourth full term next year. He has said he will announce later this year whether he will run for president in 2016. His previous bid for the GOP presidential nomination fizzled in 2011.
Perry did not mention his political future when he spoke Friday at the Texas American Legion's annual convention in Irving, a Dallas suburb.
"You may have heard earlier this week that I announced that I wasn't running for re-election. That means that in 18 months I'm going to be done being the governor of Texas, but I'm happy to report I'm going to be a legionnaire for life," Perry said to roaring applause.
Perry, after graduating from Texas A&M University, joined the U.S. Air Force and served from 1972-77.
He told the group that the state has been helping veterans by enacting several laws, including one law granting a total property tax exemption to the widow of a soldier killed in action.