Ron Paul calls Perry charges 'a joke'

Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) on Monday defended Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) against felony charges despite calling the governor a "disaster" on many other issues. 

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Paul, who tangled with the Texas governor during the 2012 GOP presidential primary, said Perry would likely come out ahead after an indictment that was handed up last Friday. 

"I don't generally defend our governor very much," Paul said on MSNBC. "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."

Perry is seen as a potential presidential candidate, along with Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Nonetheless, Paul said the real abuse of power comes from the state's district attorney.  

"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 said. 

Last week, Perry was indicted on two felony counts of knowingly misusing government property and coercion for threatening to and following through with a veto of funding for the Public Integrity Unit in the Travis County district attorney's office. 

Perry asserts it is within the governor's authority to veto the funding after District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg had "lost the public's confidence by acting inappropriately and unethically" after refusing to step down after her drunk driving arrest. 

Others, such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R), have also come to his defense. 

According to The Associated Press, a judge in Travis County decided against issuing an arrest warrant for the governor, which means he will be able to keep up with his public schedule across the country. 

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