Speaking to business leaders in New Hampshire on Friday, where Texas’ Republican Gov. Rick Perry believes he’s running for President in 2016, he was asked about the two-count felony indictment filed by a grand jury against him last week. As ABC News tells the story:
Perry was a little unclear when explaining what felony charges were issued against him.”I’ve been indicted by that same body now for I think two counts, one of bribery, which I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t really understand the details here,” Perry said of the grand jury that indicted him.
A grand jury indicted Perry last week on two felony counts — abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official — over a 2013 veto threat.
It’s really not that complicated. The indictment was only two pages. I’m not an attorney, and I couldn’t tell you how strong the case against him is at this point. Some legal experts describe it as weak at best or otherwise questionably Constitutional, even as local Texas reporters in paper after paper insist the charges are far more serious than how they are being portrayed by national media. But, without going into the specifics of the case, for now, even I can read a two-page indictment and see that it has nothing to do with “bribery.”
Surely Perry knows that, even as he’s pleaded “not guilty” to both counts, and has vehemently described the abuse of power charges filed by the grand jury under the auspices of a Republican judge and a special prosecutor who served under President George H.W. Bush, as a Democratic political hit job and an abuse of power in and of itself. (Apparently, he’s going with the “I know you are, but what am I?!” defense there.)
So I wouldn’t necessarily call Perry’s comments in New Hampshire just another one of his “oops” moments, but it’s certainly bizarre and, I guess, some kind of strategy to somehow belittle the serious charges against him in some way. ‘They are so inconsequential and silly I couldn’t even be bothered to tell all ya’ll what they’re about. Bribery? Assault? Murder? Who knows?! By the way, vote for me for president of the United States if ya’ll don’t mind!’
My prediction: Perry, if he stays out of jail, will be exactly as terrible a GOP candidate for President in 2016 as he was in 2012 — even though he now wears glasses most of the time.