Freudian Slip: Rick Perry Opponent Says 'Nothing Could Be Closer to the Truth' That Prosecution a 'Political Witch Hunt'

Craig McDonald, the director of Texans for Public Justice, was on CNN today. He tried to "respond" to something Lone Star State Governor Rick Perry's didn't say yesterday in his reaction to his indictment, and followed that up with a comical gaffe.

McDonald opened as follows: "The Governor again in his defense yesterday said this is merely a partisan political witch hunt." The trouble is that, as seen at the Texas Tribune, Perry didn't use the term "witch hunt" in his official statement or during the brief follow-up question and answer period (the Q&A is in the video, but not the text of the paper's coverage). So McDonald, who was clearly claiming to quote a term Perry used, was already misleading CNN viewers. He followed that dishonesty with a comical gaffe, as seen in the video clip after the jump (HT Twitchy):


Transcript (bolds are mine throughout this post):

The Governor again in his defense yesterday said this is merely a partisan political witch hunt.

Nothing could be closer to the truth.

No politician in the prosecutor's office or the judicial system in Travis Country has laid a hand on this.

Our complaint went to the chief Republican judge, head of this judicial district, a Republican appointee of Governor Perry's. He turned it over and appointed a special judge, again a Republican, from San Antonio, to oversee the matter. That Republican judge appointed a special prosecutor because he thought the case had that merit.

That special prosecutor is a Republican as well, who served under George W. Bush.

No Democrat had had a finger on this.

So for the Governor to say this is a partisan with hunt just doesn't stand in the face of the facts.

For McDonald to say that the Governor claimed that this is a political witch hunt is what doesn't stand in the face of what Perry actually said. What Perry actually said is that "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution." That isn't even close to the "witch hunt" characterization, as Perry was focusing on the impact on the state's constitution and its rule of law.

As to McDonald's claim that no Democrat "has had a finger on this," let's look at Michael McCrum, the "Republican" special prosecutor (HT Marooned in Marin):

In addition to being appointed as an assistant U.S. attorney during the George H.W. Bush Administration, McCrum also was selected by President Obama for one for the four U.S. Attorney posts in Texas. McCrum, after more than nine months of congressional inaction, withdrew his name from consideration.

It's not unreasonable to believe that anyone who would have been acceptable to Barack Obama may be a Republican in voter registration only — if that.

Additionally, McCrum's background appears to have one known potential blemish:

One of San Antonio’s best-known defense attorneys was accused by the Bexar County district attorney’s office this week of instructing a subpoenaed witness to “get lost for awhile” to avoid testifying in his client’s intoxication manslaughter trial.

Prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday for a finding of contempt against former federal prosecutor Mike McCrum related to his alleged instructions to Melanie Little, a witness in the October trial of Taylor Rae Rosenbusch.

If a judge agrees with the allegations, which McCrum’s own lawyers vehemently deny, he potentially could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Okay, what McDonald said was a gaffe, and of course one can tell from the rest of McDonald's answer that he believes that the Perry indictments are truly marvelous things. But many of those who are unfamiliar with the details of the matter will scratch their heads wondering if McDonald needed another cup of coffee before he would achieve coherence.

The video involved is posted at a YouTube account called "DNC Clips." I was unable to determine the degree of its official affiliation with the Democratic Party. If it is an official party organ, the posting of the McDonald clips is extremely embarrassing. If not, it only embarrasses the YouTube account's owner.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.