Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, defended Texas Gov. Rick Perry against felony charges on Monday, but his defense only went so far. Paul referred to his fellow Texan as a "disaster" on other fronts, the Hill reported.
Paul went up against the Texas governor during the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, and although he wouldn’t defend the governor on many issues, he predicted Perry would most likely beat the indictment issued against him on Friday.
"I don't generally defend our governor very much," Paul said on MSNBC during an interview with Andrea Mitchell. "He has a fairly good grasp on economics, but when it comes to civil liberties and foreign policy, he is a disaster. So I don't promote him. But this is pure politics, I'll tell you. This is really a joke."
"If he doesn't come out of here ahead of the game — because when you look into this and how this came about, I mean it really becomes a joke," Paul added.
Perry faces two felony counts after he allegedly abused the powers of his office. He withheld $7.5 million from a state agency after the district attorney in Austin refused to resign, as Perry demanded, following a drunk driving conviction, the Associated Press wrote.
He maintains it is within the governor's authority to veto the funding since District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg had "lost the public's confidence by acting inappropriately and unethically” when she did not step down.
Paul isn’t the only one to speak out in favor of Perry. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also defended the governor, despite being a likely rival of his in the 2016 presidential race. Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is likely to run against both of them.
Perry is currently waiting for a date from the state for his court summons.
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