AUSTIN, TX — Gov. Rick Perry isn’t backing down. In fact, he’s on a mission to clear his name. The Republican Presidential hopeful is accused of trying to coerce a local district attorney to resign, after she was convicted of driving drunk.
Yet, in spite of his recent indictment, Perry defended his actions on Fox News Sunday.
“I stood up for the rule of law in the state of Texas and if i had to do it again, I would make exactly the same decision.”
Perry’s bold statement comes on the heels of two corruption charges, and the subsequent fallout. Perry is accused of threatening to veto millions from Rosemary Lehmberg’s unit, if she didn’t step down.
In a press conference Saturday, Perry said the allegations were politically motivated.
“For the governor to say this is merely a partisan witch hunt, just doesn’t stand in the face of the facts,” Dir. of Texans for Public Justice Craig McDonald said. “This has never been about his veto of her budget and about her. This is about his abuse of power and his coercion to try and get another public citizen to give up their job.”
Texans for Public Justice brought the issue to light, which has now turned into a personal fight for Perry.
“This is not the way we settle differences, political differences, in this country,” Perry said. “You don’t do it with indictments. We settle our political differences at the ballot box.”
Related: Gov. Perry Speaks About Indictments
Just one day after Texas Gov. Rick Perry was indicted on charges that he abused his power, Perry publicly addressed the allegations, calling them politically motivated.
“I intend to fight against those who would erode our state’s constitution and laws purely for political purposes, and I intend to win,” Gov. Perry said on Saturday during his address in Austin.
A Travis County grand jury indicted Gov. Perry, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, on two corruption charges relating to his efforts to try and force a local district attorney to resign. The charges stem from a complaint filed by Texans for Public Justice.
The two counts against Perry, a Republican, stem from his threat to veto funding for a public integrity unit run by the DA, who had been arrested on a drunk driving charge.
Perry called the allegation politically motivated, and said he was simply exercising his discretion. “Given that information and given that choice again, that is exactly what I would do.”
Mary Anne Wiley, general counsel for Perry’s office, said the “veto in question was made in accordance” with the authority “afforded to every governor” under the state’s constitution.
“We will continue to aggressively defend the governor’s lawful and constitutional action, and believe we will ultimately prevail,” Wiley said in a statement.
The Texas Democratic Party called on Perry to immediately step down.
“The indictment today shows a failure of Governor Perry to follow the law,” according to a statement from the group.
Perry will be booked, fingerprinted and have his mugshot taken at the Travis County jail. If convicted of both charges, Perry could face over 100-years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.