Texas Gov. Rick Perry didn’t seem too concerned Sunday about the prospect of facing charges that carry a nearly 100-year prison term, confidently dismissing an abuse of power indictment brought against him two days earlier.
“I certainly take everything I do seriously. The rule of law in particular I take seriously,” Perry said during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday", “[But] I think across the board, you're seeing people weigh in and reflecting that this is way outside of the norm.”
Indeed, since an independent prosecutor unveiled the two felony charges late Friday, the Republican has found some unlikely defenders, like former Obama strategist David Axelrod, who called the incident “very sketchy,” and liberal Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who said he was “outraged” by the charge.
Perry wanted to make sure Fox viewers knew about his liberal defenders, mentioning Axelrod and Dershowitz twice, while also taking time to thank Republicans who have defended him, like Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
The two-count grand jury indictments relates to Perry’s attempt to force a Travis County district attorney to resign after a drunk driving arrest, and then making good on a threat to strip funding for her office via his veto power.
“When you look at that and you have to make a decision on whether or not $7.5 million of Texas taxpayer money is going to go to the unit that she oversees. I very clearly, I very publicly said that as long as that individual is going to be running that agency, I had lost confidence in her. The public had lost confidence in her, and I did what every governor has done for decades, which is make a decision on whether or not it was in the proper use of state money to go to that agency, and I vetoed it,” Perry told guest host Shannon Bream.
The district attorney is a Democrat and Perry is a Republican, and he said political differences should be settled at the ballot box, not with indictments. The special prosecutor who handled the case had previously been recommended for a job by the state’s two Republican senators.
Previously, Perry has said he will not only fight the charges, but that “those responsible [for the charges] will be held accountable.”