NH GOP defends Perry on indictment

Screen shot/Texas Tribune

The New Hampshire Republican Party is standing by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) after his indictment by a grand jury for allegations of abuse of power, ahead of his visit to the state later this week.

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NHGOP Chairwoman Jennifer Horn called those allegations “ridiculous” in a Monday statement, and said the party is “pleased to welcome” him for an NHGOP “Victory Rally” with local activists on Saturday.

"The accusations made against Governor Rick Perry are so ridiculous that even President Obama's top adviser David Axelrod called them ‘pretty sketchy,’ ” she said.

“It appears that partisan political operatives are trying to smear the governor for demanding accountability from a politician who had lost the public's confidence, after she was convicted of a crime and thrown in jail. It is obvious to anybody who watches the video of the District Attorney's disgraceful conduct that she does not deserve to remain in office," said Horn. 

A Texas grand jury on Friday indicted the potential 2016 presidential hopeful on two felony counts, of coercion of public official and abuse of official capacity. The charges relate to his veto of funding for public corruption prosecutors in the state, which critics have alleged was intended to pressure a local district attorney to resign.

Perry called for the resignation of District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat, after she was arrested and pled guilty in April 2013 to drunken driving.

The governor defended his veto during a Sunday appearance on Fox News and has received support from a number of his potential 2016 presidential opponents.

“I stood up for the rule of law in the state of Texas, and if I had to do it again, I would make exactly the same decision,” Perry said.

Perry's visit to the state has stoked continued speculation over his 2016 plans, and he's been supportive of New Hampshire Republicans in the past. Last month, he joined Horn on a conference call with reporters to criticize Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) — who's locked in a competitive fight to retain her seat — on immigration reform.