Is Governor Perry embracing and gaining support after indictment?
Governor Perry speaks after bonding out of jail Tuesday. (Photo Source: CNN)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
Governor Rick Perry has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that he abused his power by trying to force the Travis County District Attorney to resign. Tuesday evening, the governor was booked in to the Travis County Jail on one count of abuse of official capacity and one count of coercion of a public servant. There's no denying the governor has taken what's usually a very negative event and seemingly used it to his advantage.
Tuesday, cheers and applause outside of the Travis County Judicial Complex sent a message loud and clear-- Perry has supporters in this fight.
"I'm going to walk into this courthouse with my head held high, knowing that the actions that I took were not only lawful and legal, but right," said Perry before turning himself over to deputies.
State Representative Bryan Hughes says he would have been in Austin standing with Perry if he could have.
"Over in Proverbs... I think it may be chapter 26, the Lord talks about 'if you dig a pit for someone to fall into, you may fall into it it yourself,' kind of as a warning, and that may be what we're seeing here," says Hughes.
Hughes said the attention Perry has received shows people that he is not backing down from the fight.
"People definitely see him as someone who did the right thing and now is being beat up for it and he's not backing up," Hughes said.
Perry is accused of abusing his power because he vetoed funding for the Travis County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit in an effort to get the DA to resign after a drunken driving arrest and guilty plea.
"It's a matter of integrity. He had a personal problem with a person who has shown a lack of personal integrity being the investigator of personal integrity and using state funds to do so," said Keith Rothra a campaign organizer and former Gregg Co. Republican Party Chairman.
Everything from the governor's mug shot to a Twitter post about going out for ice cream after bonding out of jail show that every step since his indictment has been perfectly planned.
"This has given him a real national spotlight that he's really shining in so far," says Hughes.
Could all of the attention and his refusal to back down end up helping him in a 2016 presidential run?
"It's going to help him in that he acted as a governor is supposed to act. He used his constitutional authority to line-item veto a portion of a bill," says Rothra.
"I'm going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being, and we will prevail," said Perry moments after bonding out of jail Tuesday.
While the governor has not said whether he's pursuing a 2016 presidential run, he has announced that he will waive his arraignment hearing on Friday when he is scheduled to be in New Hampshire.