Bill Kristol: Gov. Perry Indictment 'Ridiculous'

On the “This Week” roundtable, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol criticizes the recent indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
7:41 | 08/24/14

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Transcript for Bill Kristol: Gov. Perry Indictment 'Ridiculous'
There is the attorney general, Eric holder, in Ferguson, Missouri, this week. As we said, it has calmed down. The big questions ahead for the community and the country. Attorney general Eric holder working on that. We're back now on "The roundtable." And congresswoman Edwards. This is a tricky issue. The president talking about race, talking about civil rights in the wake of Ferguson. They don't want to prejudge the investigation. They want to show action. Engagement. I think the right thing to do was to send the attorney general and have the justice department engage in the investigation since two days after the incident. I think that shows the commitment of the president to make sure we get to the truth and get justice. I have to tell you, I think I'm the only one around the table that is a mother of a young black man. And this is something that could have happened in any community across this sun. Country. I think that's the thing that has so startled both the nation but not surprised many african-americans. I don't think he should have sent Eric holder there. I think the justice department should investigate, as it does many cases, I suppose. When the police use force, excessive force, we don't know yet, against in young man in this case. Who was unfortunately killed. Having Eric holder personally go, I think makes it more of a national issue than it is. It's an issue of local law enforcement and makes it more of a racial issue than it really may be. The problem is, none of us really knows yet what happened in those 20 seconds in Ferguson, Missouri. We have had a lot of talk. A lot of shouting, pushing, yelling, pain. The fact is, and all levels of government I think failed to distinguish themselves in Ferguson. But what we have a deficit of is real information. We actually don't know exactly what happened when that young man was shot. We don't know what happened afterwards to the policeman. So so much is unknown. The worst thing officials on the ground there could do now is not do the most thorough, fair-minded, substantive investigation. And then communication of hat they have found. Put all the proof out there. Everything. It would be terrible if they don't do that. I can't believe they would be that stupid. So I expect they'll report what happened. This could take some time. The prosecutors saying could take until October. Clearly, the civil rights investigation would have to wait until that's completed. I would think so. Two investigations going on. I agree with Peggy. It has to be thorough. There has to be more transparency. I think that they didn't have it in the days after and it added to the tumult. Everyone needs to step back and allow for the facts and law enforcement to do their job. Another issue this week with legal and political implications. Govern Rick Perry facing the indictment. Was arraigned. Went straight from there to New Hampshire. And there still seemed to be, bill kristol, I know you spoke with him as well this week, some sense now, open to debate, that this might actually behelping his potential run for president, getting indicted. The indictment seems ridiculous. The two statutes were to go after bribery of public officials. It was a threat to veto an appropriation for a part of Texas he thought was being run badly. It's standard. And he went ahead and vetoed this appropriation. As Texas governors and other governors have vetoed a million pieces of legislation. I saw him in Washington. He seemed cheerful. He gave a good speech. In which he really discussed foreign policy, in my view, intelligently and forcefully. He went to New Hampshire Friday. I think he'll be a real candidate this time. You agree? I think it was local democratic overreach. Just a dumb case. I don't think it should have been brought. Naturally, he looks like someone who is -- The prosecutor is a former republican I think. That may be. But when you look at this case, it just looks crazy. Everything Perry's accused of doing, he apparently did publicly. He said, oh, my gosh, this woman should step down. She was in an embarrassing escapade. She won't step down. He says, I'm going to veto the appropriation. This is not back room, dirty, nasty dealings. It's politics as it is normally played. I guess we're going to let this play out. Apparently, there are two other instances of prosecutors misbehaving in the same way and Rick Perry didn't use the same authority against them. It's a republican prosecutor. I guess we let the legal process play out. And Rick Perry will run for president. We talked in a previous situation about letting the investigation take place. He's utilizing this smartly politically. I think this will help him become more of a darling for a republican primary voter. He's had a good few months. Who would have thought after ' 12 he would be a credible nominee. It's the glasses. I was most struck by someone else in Iowa. Jim Webb. Talking in Iowa. I think we ought to have more democrats coming out here. We need to -- to stimulate the debate about where the country is. I don't know if he could win, David Plouffe, he could be potentially the most dangerous challenger to Hillary Clinton in this. Well, she would, if she runs, and she has to make that decision, she'll be the strongest nonincumbent candidate we have seen in the history of American politics, certainly in the modern primary system. I think there is little room. There would be one or two people to emerge. It's smart to go to Iowa. I think it is Tom Harkin's last day. My former boss. My guess is whoever wins Iowa has a 75%, 80% of being the next president. As president Obama shows. I like Jim Webb. I voted against him in 2006 in Virginia. He wrote a cover story for "The weekly standard" for 1997. It would be great to have a weekly standard contributor running. He's an impressive guy. To the degree that foreign policy and military policy is front and center, and I think it will be, and to the degree which secretary of state Clinton could be hurt by being part of that administration that's gotten us into this mess, I think Jim Webb could be an interesting candidate. I think he would have appeal for the reasons bill mentioned. His experience is very broad, very interesting. Has some republicans. Some democrat. It's really an interesting thing. He's accomplished. And yet, inarguably clean. That can be powerful. Your governor, martin O'Malley taking a look. Does that put you in a difficult spot? No. It doesn't put me in a difficult spot at all. Let me talk about Jim Webb. I think Jim Webb has a strong sense of social justice. That in addition to his military experience. He was one of the first to raise this issue of increased sentencing and disproportionate sentencing in the senate. I think it would be interesting to hear from him during this debate. But, you know, I'm probably for the other woman in the race. Okay, we'll see what happens with that. Thank you all very much. Up next, our friend Ann Compton in our "Sunday spotlight." ?Music?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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