presidential contender in a high stakes fight that is really being watched all over America. Rick Perry, the powerful and long-serving republican governor of Texas, stepping to the Mike and defiantly... See More
presidential contender in a high stakes fight that is really being watched all over America. Rick Perry, the powerful and long-serving republican governor of Texas, stepping to the Mike and defiantly denouncing the fact that he has just been slapped with a criminal indictment. ABC's Jeff Zeleny is on the story. Reporter: Governor Rick Perry is firing back tonight, saying the felony charges against him are politically motivated. We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country. It is outrageous. Reporter: Perry's been on the rebound, eyeing another bid for the white house. But now, he's fighting a two-count indictment, abuse of power and coercing a public servant. This farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it is. Reporter: Prosecutors say the governor went beyond hard ball politics and tried forcing a democratic district attorney to quit or cut funding to her office. But he says rosemary Lehmberg seen here in this jailhouse video, should have resigned after pleading guilty to drunken driving. The two were also at odds about her role at the state's public integrity unit, which investigates corruption. It's a tough legal case to prove, but could still complicate his political ambitions. Three years after this -- Commerce and, let's see -- I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops. Reporter: He's back at it. We caught up with him in Iowa. How tough is it, do you think, to make a second impression on these republican voters? I think second chances are what America's always been about. Reporter: And now Perry may find out if he'll get that second chance. He's still planning on visiting New Hampshire next week to keep those 2016 hopes alive. But before leaving Texas, he must stop at the courthouse for his arraignment. Jeff Zeleny, ABC news, Washington.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.