Republicans Blame Rick Perry's Indictment On A Liberal "Conspiracy," Obviously
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been having a tough week — and it's only Tuesday — but don't feel too bad for the embattled governor. He has a sizable support group of Republicans to back him up, including a former House majority leader. In a recent interview with Fox News, Tom DeLay called Rick Perry's indictment a "vendetta" against Republicans, and he would know: DeLay was once at the center of a similar indictment led by a Travis County, Texas grand jury.
Perry was indicted by a Texas grand jury last Friday on two felony counts of abuse of power. The indictment stems from a veto of $7.5 million from a public integrity unit helmed by District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, an Austin-based Democrat who in 2013 was found guilty of driving under the influence in a very public way (footage of Lehmberg's arrest and booking spread across social media channels). When Lehmberg refused to resign under Perry's orders, he stripped the public integrity unit of the funds.
Now, Republicans — and Perry himself — are challenging the merits of the indictment, which is largely being led by Austin-area Democrats. Over the weekend, Perry said the indictment accusing him of abusing power was an "abuse of power."
Tom DeLay also had some choice words, telling Fox News that the charges against Perry are signs of a liberal conspiracy:
There is no doubt [the case] is politically motivated. Once again, the district attorney of Travis County presented a case, not unlike mine, that was very weak, if it was a case at all. … It’s a conspiracy to use the legal system to politicize politics.
DeLay said the "vendetta" against the Republican governor is not solely limited to the ugly, increasingly polarizing politics of Texas. The former House majority leader believes the indictment can be traced all the way back to Washington, D.C., Democrats. How or why? DeLay didn't say, but with a gridlocked Congress and a pending federal lawsuit against the president, political conspiracies about political conspiracies don't need much to take hold these days.
DeLay isn't the only Republican jumping on the Rick Perry train. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a fellow Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate who has a few recent troubles (re: Bridge Scandal) of his own, released a statement supporting Perry on Monday, saying he has "complete faith and confidence in Governor Perry's honesty and integrity."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also came to Perry's defense, posting this message on his Facebook page:
The lawsuit against Governor Rick Perry is a blatant misuse of the judicial system by liberal activists who couldn’t defeat him at the polls. Governor Perry exercised his constitutional authority and this circus is simply a political witch-hunt. I stand behind him in his fight for honest government and I am certain he will prevail in this partisan suit.
It's not like Perry's indictment is being hailed among Democrats, either, as some liberals are also questioning the merits of the case. But the case is no doubt significant, and can be a make or break for the long-serving Texan governor who hopes to run for a presidential bid in 2016. And for Perry, both winning the case — which he calls a "political farce" — and the presidential ticket are entirely possible in his mind.
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