Tags: GOP2016 | Newsmax TV | Rick Perry | Steve Malzberg Show | Tom DeLay | Rick Perry | indictment

Tom DeLay: Rick Perry's Indictment in '14 a Campaign Problem

By    |   Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 08:48 PM

Gov. Rick Perry who announced he will seek the 2016 GOP nomination for president is a "serious candidate," but his indictment last year on abuse of power and coercion charges will be a hindrance to his campaign, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says.

"He's a serious candidate. He's got to and will raise the money that he will need to get in the race and stay in the race," DeLay, a Texas Republican who represented the Lone Star State's 22nd District, said on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"This race with so many people running could actually end up at a brokered convention and I'm all for that.

"I'm very happy to have a long, tough debate through a campaign for president which helps you build momentum, helps you put energy in the party, helps you bring people together, volunteer and raise money and tell your story. I'm all for it."

But DeLay says Perry will have an uphill battle to stay on course because of his legal troubles.

In August, Perry was indicted by a grand jury in Texas on two counts of abuse of power and coercion over a funding veto he made in 2013 that was seen as being intended to force a local prosecutor to resign.

The probe of Perry that led to the charges came after he vetoed $7.5 million in funding for an integrity unit that is part of the Travis County District Attorney's office. The move was seen as hardball politics to force out county DA Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat, after she pleaded guilty to drunken driving.

"It is a hindrance. I don't know how big it's going to be to him," DeLay said.

"If you're weighing say Ted Cruz against Rick Perry and Rick Perry has this cloud hanging over [his] head … a lot of donors will step back and say, 'Well, I'll wait until this is resolved or I'll go with Ted Cruz because [he doesn't] have this problem where a shoe could drop and I've wasted my money.'

"It will have an impact. How big of an impact? I don't know."

DeLay knows firsthand about long and tangled legal proceedings.

In 2005, DeLay was indicted by Travis County DA Ronnie Earle for allegedly conspiring to break election laws three years earlier in a case that involved charges of money laundering.

He was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to three years in prison, but remained free on bail pending appeal. Last year, the Texas Court of Appeals ruled the evidence was "legally insufficient" and threw out the case.

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Gov. Rick Perry who announced he will seek the 2016 GOP nomination for president is a serious candidate, but his indictment last year on abuse of power and coercion charges will be a hindrance to his campaign, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says.
Tom DeLay, Rick Perry, indictment, coercion
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2015-48-04
Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 08:48 PM
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