Texas Gov. Rick Perry signaled Thursday that he would be open to sending U.S. combat forces to Iraq to fight the deadly Islamic state after its attacks on a Christian minority and the beheading of an American journalist.
"We need to have all of our options open," Perry told a gathering at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The potential 2016 presidential candidate also raised the prospect of members of the Islamic state crossing the U.S. -Mexico border, which he said is too porous because of inaction by President Barack Obama.
Perry arrived in Washington shrugging off a pair of indictments, saying he was "confident" in his defense.
Perry was indicted last week by a grand jury in Austin on charges stemming from his veto last summer of state funds for public corruption prosecutors. He pleaded not guilty on Tuesday shortly after he was fingerprinted and had his mug shot taken.
He cited Democratic pundits who have said the charges are politically motivated.
Perry next heads to politically important New Hampshire.
© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.