Rick Perry Hires Top McCain 2008 Aide Steve Schmidt


Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has hired Steve Schmidt to assist with strategy in fighting criminal charges against him for abuse of power, as first reported by Politico.

Schmidt, a longtime Republican strategist, was a senior campaign adviser and strategist in John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The move is the latest in a series of high-profile hires to Perry’s legal team, which suggest that the rumored 2016 presidential hopeful is taking the indictment very seriously.

He recently hired Ben Ginsberg, a former George W. Bush lawyer, and Mark Fabiani, a former Bill Clinton lawyer and Al Gore’s 2000 campaign spokesman. Ginsberg and Fabiani were key figures, on opposing sides, during the 2000 recount.

Evan Smith, the editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune, dubbed it an “Ocean’s Eleven-style” legal team.


Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.