Christie Comes to Perry’s Defense After Indictment

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -

Gov. Chris Christie came to the defense of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Monday, praising his “honesty and integrity.”

Christie, the chair of the Republican Governors Association, released a statement supporting Perry, who was slapped with two felony counts of abuse of power by a Democratic prosecutor on Friday.

“I have complete faith and confidence in Governor Perry’s honesty and integrity,” Christie said. “And I’m sure that will be confirmed over time.”

Both men are weighing GOP runs for the White House in 2016.

Christie’s administration remains under its own legal cloud. The U.S. attorney for New Jersey is investigating allegations Christie’s staffers shut down access lanes to a busy bridge connecting New Jersey and New York in an apparent act of political payback.

Other potential 2016 GOP rivals also have come to Perry’s defense, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who dismissed the charges in a posting as “a political witch hunt.”

But others are distancing themselves. Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s re-election campaign removed a video endorsement from Perry from its website shortly after the grand jury’s indictment because it did not want it to distract from the campaign.