For the second time, a judge has refused to dismiss the abuse of power indictment against former Texas Governor Rick Perry. Despite that bad news, Perry continues to eye a bid for the presidency. In fact, he seems more adamant than ever that what he did was right.
“I think everything is going pretty much as expected. I think the judge is being cautious,” Perry told Fox News Wednesday night. “I wear this as a badge of honor, standing up for the rule of law and the Constitution.”
The indictment stems from Perry’s decision to cut off $7.5 million in state funding to Travis County D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg ’s office after refused to resign from office after a drunk driving conviction and embarrassing behavior following her arrest in 2013.
“Governor Perry will continue to stand up for the rule of law and for the constitutional exercise of a veto of funding for a public official who had lost the public’s trust,” Perry’s top Iowa advisor, Bob Haus, told The Iowa Republican. “The judge on Tuesday pointed out glaring weaknesses in the case and encouraged Gov. Perry to appeal the case to a higher court. That’s exactly what he’ll do.”
“Clearly, the Constitution is on our side,” Perry added. “Clearly the statutes are on our side and at the end of the day, we will be well served and I’m going to stand up for the people of this country and the rule of law.”
Governors and legal scholars from both sides of the aisle agree this is a suspect case and stand behind Rick Perry’s decision to continue fighting for the rule of law.
Despite the indictment and possibility of a felony conviction, Perry continues to hit the campaign trail in the lead up to a second bid for the Oval Office. Following appearances in Iowa over the weekend, the former Texas governor visited South Carolina on Tuesday. That is the third state in the presidential primary process.
“We’re going to continue traveling,” Perry said. “We’re going to continue judging the support that’s out there. By the looks of it right now, we’re on track to be able to make an announcement, probably a May or June timetable would be my guess.”
Perry’s efforts are much improved this cycle from his disappointing 2012 run. That showed on Saturday at the Iowa Freedom Summit. Although other speakers garnered most of the headlines, Perry’s speech was still very well received.
“I thought Rick Perry gave the best speech I’ve ever heard him give in Iowa and I’ve heard him dozens of times,” said former U.S Senate candidate Sam Clovis. “I campaigned with him and I don’t think he’s ever been as confident, as comfortable or as direct.”
A group of illegal immigration protestors interrupted Perry’s speech, but the Iowa crowd quickly rallied to Perry’s side. The protestors were ejected from the building.
“I thought he had a direct message and of course, luck has to play a little bit in this, so when those guys stood up, it helped him. It really did. It emphasized his point. I brought it home,” Clovis added.
Perry also held a meet and greet in Indianola on Sunday that drew a good crowd and positive reviews.
“I saw Perry in Indianola Sunday night. I remain uncommitted and publicly neutral, but his ability to work a room is incredible. Anybody who overlooks him as a contender in 2016 is doing so at their own peril,” said Story County GOP Chairman Dane Nealson, who worked on Perry’s 2012 campaign.
Over the past 14 years, under Rick Perry’s leadership, the state of Texas has created 1/3 of the new jobs in America, he told the crowd at the Iowa Freedom Summit. The rest of the country has lost 400,000 jobs. Perry’s much-improved ability to deliver a message, coupled with a strong record of achievement, could make him a top-tier contender for the GOP presidential nomination, if he can overcome his legal challenges.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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