Rick Perry rules out Senate run against Ted Cruz in 2018

Last Updated Oct 20, 2017 6:33 PM EDT

Despite some teasing from President Trump, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry says he will not seek to challenge Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in  2018.

"Not happening," Perry said on the latest episode of "The Takeout" podcast. "No. And I'm not going to run for public office again. I mean I can pretty much, categorically say (that) here on Takeout," although he then conceded that he would never want to fully rule out that option.

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This summer, according to the Texas Tribune, President Trump praised Perry as a potential primary challenger to Cruz, who is running for re-election next year.

"I've been hearing a lot about that and I don't know if he wants to do it, but boy, will he do well," Mr. Trump said at an August fundraiser in Austin, Texas, which Perry attended. The president's remarks came a year after Cruz failed to endorse Mr. Trump at the Republican National Convention.

"Yeah, he alluded that," Perry, who served as Texas governor from 2000-2015, said of the president's comments. "I stepped on that very quickly."

In a conversation over a mountain of donuts and fresh coffee at the Energy Department's ground-floor Dunkin' Donuts shop, Perry also explained to CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett and Political Director Steve Chaggaris his recommendations to other Cabinet secretaries on how to avoid the perils of private airline travel.

"I look at it like this," he said. "You need to be thoughtful, you need to be realizing that that's an easy story to write. So don't put yourself in a position that they can easily attack you."

"With that said, there's a balance that goes on. You have to go places," Perry added. "The balance is, the people need to see you've got a job to do. The same thing is true here. The Department of Energy has 17 labs flung all across this country – a lot of them chosen specifically for sites that are very far away from populations."

"Now, you can hitchhike," Perry deadpanned. "That is a less costly alternative. But not very effective."

For more from Major and Steve's conversation with Secretary Perry,  including how the wrong brand of kitty litter once caused a nuclear waste accident at a facility, download "The Takeout" podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, or Spotify. New episodes are available every Friday morning.

Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm ET/PT. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com.

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