Did former Obama advisor David Axelrod really defend Rick Perry?

On Friday, a grand jury indicted Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) for allegedly abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption.

The indictment stems from an investigation into whether Perry broke the law when he publicly vowed to nix $7.5 million over two years for the public integrity unit, which is run by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s (D) office.

As TheBlaze reports, no one disputes Perry’s authority to veto measures approved by the Legislature. The left-leaning Texans for Public Justice government watchdog group, however, filed an ethics complaint accusing Perry of coercion because he threatened to use his veto prior to taking action in an attempt to pressure Lehmberg to quit. This so-called pressure followed Lehmberg’s April 2013 guilty plea to drunk driving charges.

While the indictment could hamper Perry’s 2016 presidential efforts, some unlikely supporters have come to his defense. From former Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod to liberal law Professor Alan Dershowitz, many on the right and left are questioning the grand jury’s decision.

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“Big story nationally, probably shouldn’t be, is that Rick Perry’s been indicted,” Pat said on radio this morning. “Not even liberal Democrats are saying this one should have happened.”

On Saturday, Axelrod had this to say about the indictment:

That’s a little honesty from David Axelrod,” Pat said. “I didn’t think he had it in him.”

New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chiat seconded Axelrod’s notion, calling the charges “weak”:

For his part, Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor and self-described “liberal Democrat who would never vote for Rick Perry,” is “outraged” over the “dangerous” indictment.

“Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment. If you don’t like how Rick Perry uses his office, don’t vote for him,” Dershowitz said. “This is another example of the criminalization of party differences… This idea of an indictment is an extremely dangerous trend in America.”

During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Perry touted the support he received from these sources to dismiss the charges.

“David Axelrod said that this was a very sketchy indictment,” Perry said. “Professor Dershowitz, who’s not exactly my cheerleader, said that it was outrageous. So across the board you’re seeing people weigh in, reflecting that this is way outside of the norm… When you’ve got David Axelrod and Harvard law professor Dershowitz saying the things as they’ve said, I think it’s pretty reflective of what we’re working with here.”

Front page image courtesy of the AP

  • tonybigs

    This is a distraction in an attempt by non-office holding Democrats (wink, wink) to get Ms. State Representative Wendy Davis (D) and other Democrats into Texas office: “Resign or get ‘abuse of power’ charges placed against you.” Wait a minute, isn’t that what…

  • http://truthofg.blogspot.com/ Connor Kenway

    When even David Axelrod is saying this is not right while defending a Republican governor would tell you that this is really a dumb charge.

  • James Hubbs

    I am suspecious of Axelrod and Dershowitz coming to his defense something smells here. Maybe it is the fact the Democrats have their people who have done this and could be indicted. I can see Dershowitz ‘s point as a lawyer but Axelrod ? He’s a communist why would he defend Perry the ends justifies the means.

  • P_O_K

    Axelrod knows which way this is going to go, so from his perspective, why not take the opportunity during this crisis (ala Rahm Emmanuel) to come forward to portray yourself as “fair” and “seeing both sides” for later when he does his dirty work and can point to this moment? This has nothing to do with Axelrod, yet here he is.

    Axelrod’s a liberal opportunist I don’t trust, and this is one of the reasons why.

  • ken.

    leftists always protect themselves and their position of power and their agenda, they will throw their own kids under the bus. they have a saying, ” if you want a friend, get a dog “

    • HouseofCards

      There’s no shame in calling a spade a spade, even when that person is on your “side” politically or otherwise. When we only rush to defend those we align with, even “right” and “wrong” can become blurred and politicized.

  • 1231726

    Axelrod realized that many would see this was sooo like his modus operandi, that he had to put out this disclaimer. too funny

  • Ferrari fan

    The reason the dems are coming out and saying this is because they know if Perry goes down over this nonsense, Obama is a sitting duck. If not now, definitely when the Republicans gain control of the Senate.

  • George Kato

    A lamp I’ve found useful for eluding the dark and despotic march of most of mankind: http://amzn.to/1ozN3tC

  • wispi

    This indictment is a joke, as are the democrats. This needs to go to where the “sun don’t shine”