HIAWATHA, Iowa (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Gov. Rick Perry is in Iowa, campaigning for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Whitaker, and rekindling friendships as he weighs a second bid for president.

After touring a machine shop just outside Cedar Rapids, Perry denied there was another motive to the visit, which continues Thursday in Ames, Spencer, Le Mars and Sioux City. Perry unsuccessfully sought the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Whitaker beside him, Perry told reporters touring Master Tool and Manufacturing: “This hasn’t got anything to do with preparation” for 2016.

It kicked off his third trip this year to Iowa, where the 2016 presidential caucuses are expected to begin the next Republican nominating campaign.

Perry also planned to headline a fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, and promised to campaign for other Republicans before November.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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