Texas Governor Rick Perry vows to fight felony charges of abuse while joking that congressional elections set for later this year will give Obama a ''little taste'' of his own constitutional limits. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry says he will vigorously fight felony charges of abuse of power and jokes that congressional elections set for later this year will give President Barack Obama a "little taste" of his own constitutional limits. Perry was indicted by a grand jury in Travis County, a Democratic stronghold in heavily Republican Texas, over his veto of funding for a state ethics watchdog that has investigated prominent Texas Republicans. He was charged with abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony, and coercion of a public official, a third-degree felony. "I am very confident in my case and I can assure you that I will fight this attack on our system of government," Perry told a panel audience at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, where he had been invited before his indictment to discuss the immigration situation on the southern border. "With my fellow citizens, both Republican and Democrat, I am to defend out constitution and stand up for the rule of law," he said. Perry went on to somewhat jokingly caution U.S. President Barack Obama over what Perry said were the president's own abuses of power and authority. Republicans have complained loudly that Obama has exercised "king-like" authority in taking executive actions ranging from raising the minimum wage for federal contractors to extending benefits to same-sex partners. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives in July authorized a lawsuit which will focus on unilateral changes Obama made to the Affordable Care Act, his signature health care law. "The good news is that he's got exactly 136 days left until the next congress convenes with a Republican House and Republican Senate," Perry told the audience to applause, in reference to mid-term elections in November when Republicans hope to gain enough seats to also control the Senate. "He's going to get a little taste of checks and balances. He has an appointment, if you will...with constitutional limits," Perry said. Perry, who was fingerprinted and photographed on Monday, has called the charges against him "outrageous" and politically motivated. He faces up to 109 years in jail if convicted on both counts.