The political ramifications of last week’s indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry were evident Monday on both sides of the Delaware River.
While New Jersey’s Gov. Christie, in his role as chair of a national GOP group, came to Perry’s defense, Pennsylvania’s Gov. Corbett sought to distance himself from the fellow Republican.
Perry was charged Friday with two felony counts of abuse of power for vetoing funding for the office of a district attorney whom he wanted to resign. He had threatened to do just that.
Christie may face Perry in a presidential primary in 2016, but the New Jersey governor on Monday offered his “complete faith and confidence in Gov. Perry’s honesty and integrity.”
“And I’m sure that will be confirmed over time,” Christie, chair of the Republican Governors Association, said in a statement released by the group.
Christie thus far has survived his own scandal. Federal prosecutors are investigating September lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, which appeared to be orchestrated by the governor’s allies in an act of political revenge. Christie has denied involvement.
Corbett, who trails Democrat Tom Wolf in the polls as he seeks reelection in November, was more circumspect. His campaign removed an endorsement video from Perry from its website, saying it didn’t want a distraction, according to the Associated Press.
Perry says he did nothing wrong in vetoing $7.5 million for a public integrity unit, and commentators across the political spectrum have accused grand jurors of criminalizing politics.