Texas Governor Rick Perry said it is too early for Republican Governors Association (RGA) to return donations it received from Rupert Murdoch last year in the wake of the British phone-hacking scandal.

According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, News Corp. Ltd. of Australia donated $1.25 million in two installments to the RGA, when Perry served as its national finance chairman. (Perry is now the top official of RGA, whose aim is to elect more Republican state politicians).

“To judge Mr. Murdoch at this particular point in time is rather premature,” Perry said.

He added that RGA has received “tens of millions of dollars made by a host of individuals.” In some cases when donors got into trouble and were indicted, “monies have been given back,” he said.

Meanwhile, Perry is considering running for President in 2012. A recent poll by NBC named him the third most popular potential candidate behind Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, with 16 percent.