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Ron Paul Defends Rick Perry Against Indictment

Rick Perry to Fight Indictment 1:42

Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul called the indictment of Gov. Rick Perry for abuse of power a “joke” on Monday.

In an interview on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell, the former Republican presidential candidate—and frequent admonisher of the governor—said the accusations of abuse of power should be directed at the district attorney who refused to resign from office, not Perry.

“When you look into this and how this came about, I mean it really becomes a joke,” Paul said.

Perry faces two felony counts for following through on a veto threat last year. The governor withheld $7.5 million from a state agency after its head, a local district attorney, refused to resign—despite Perry’s demands—following a drunken driving conviction.

“I don’t, generally, defend our governor very much,” Paul said. “He has a fairly good grasp on economics, but when it comes to civil liberties and foreign policy, he’s a disaster. So I don’t promote him, but this is pure politics.”

Paul and his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, conflict with Perry, often. The congressman ran against Perry for president in 2012 and regularly swung at his record as governor.

More recently, Rand Paul and Perry tussled in op-eds over one another’s foreign policy.

In July to the Washington Post, Perry condemned what he called Sen. Rand Paul’s “isolationist policies” and the stance “that our nation should ignore what’s happening in Iraq.”

Sen. Paul countered with a Politico op-ed: “Apparently [Perry’s] new glasses haven’t altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly … On foreign policy, Perry couldn’t be more stuck in the past, doubling down on formulas that haven’t worked, parroting rhetoric that doesn’t make sense and reinforcing petulant attitudes that have cost our nation a great deal.”

Perry awaits a date from the state for his court summons.

-- Vaughn Hillyard