Rick Perry isn’t letting a judge’s decision not to dismiss the abuse of power case against him disrupt his timetable on a possible presidential run for 2016. At a news conference Wednesday, the former Texas governor and 2012 presidential candidate said he's still holding out hope that his lawyers will successfully appeal the decision.
“We’re moving right along as expected,” Perry, a Republican, said about whether the decision Tuesday by Texas state Judge Burt Richardson to let the case proceed impacts his thinking on entering the 2016 race, according to NBC News. "And we'll make a decision, or actually make an announcement -- [that's] a better descriptive term, in the May/June timetable, just like we had intended to before this."
That timetable is when Perry said he will likely announce a run for president if he decides to mount a bid. A former longtime aide to Perry told International Business Times that he expected his former boss to launch a campaign this year. Perry was among the speakers at the inaugural Iowa Freedom Summit over the weekend, where conservative Republicans gathered to discuss party objectives. Iowa is one of the early primary states Perry has traveled to in recent days along with New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Perry has maintained his innocence in the abuse of power case, which stems from his vetoing funding for the public corruption division of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's office because she would not resign. Perry called on Lehmberg to resign after she was convicted of drunken driving.
Perry is doing more than just proclaiming he did nothing wrong -- his argument is that it is within a governor’s rights to veto anything. He’s even fundraising off of the charges against him, claiming the prosecution is politically motivated. When he was indicted in August, RickPAC, Perry’s leadership political action committee, was selling T-shirts with his mug shot on it to supporters. The shirt said Perry was wanted “for securing the border and defeating Democrats.”
One of Perry’s potential rivals for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, had his back. Paul used the hashtag #opposegovtbullies on Twitter when he defended Perry.
â€” Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) January 28, 2015
During the news conference, Perry said he would issue the veto again if he had the chance. He said he’s “proud to stand for the rule of law,” according to the Associated Press.