Texas Gov. Rick Perry is not letting his indictment on abuse-of-power charges stop him from attempting to bolster his image ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Perry participated in an immigration and foreign policy discussion at a Washington think tank on Thursday before travelling to the politically important state of New Hampshire.
“I am very confident in my case and I can assure that I will fight this attack of our system of government and with my fellow citizens, both Republican and Democrats, I aim to defend our Constitution and stand up for the rule of law,” Perry said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation.
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Perry was indicted last week for charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. The Republican vetoed funding for a public integrity unit after District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who headed the unit, refused to step down following her 2012 arrest for driving while intoxicated.
This weekend, voters in the Granite State will get their first look at Perry since his failed 2012 White House bid. The longest-serving governor in Texas history has been in the process of rebuilding his image and has become an authoritative voice on the nation’s immigration crisis.
At the very least, Perry’s indictment has proved to be a distraction as he ponders another presidential run. Still, he has not delayed any travel and also has plans to visit the early voting states of Iowa and South Carolina.
-- Andrew Rafferty