Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry confidently dismissed the indictment levied against him by a grand jury on Friday, declaring he “stood up for the rule of law” by vetoing money for a drunk-driving district attorney and would make “exactly the same decision” today.
The governor was defiant in the face of the indictment in an interview with Fox News’ Shannon Bream, claiming he was well within his rights to withhold funding from the office of Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democratic district attorney whose temper tantrum against police after a drunken driving arrest was captured on video.
“I think it’s important for people to understand the details of this,” Perry explained, noting the “abusiveness” of the “highest-ranking prosecutor in Travis County” against the police officers who arrested her for drunk driving.
“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 oversee 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,” he said. “The public had lost confidence in her.”
“And I did what every governor has done for decades,” he continued, “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. That’s what the rule of law is really about, Shannon.”
“And I stood up for the rule of law in the state of Texas,” Perry declared. “And if I had to do it again, I would make exactly the same decision.”
The governor noted the support he’s received from across the political spectrum — including former Obama advisor David Axelrod, who called the indictment “sketchy.”
“This is way outside of the norm,” Perry asserted. “This is not the way you settle political differences in this country.”