Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry accused Democrats on Tuesday of using the Gold Star father of a Muslim soldier who died during the Iraq War to attack Donald Trump at the Democratic convention last month.
"I think the Democrats used him in a way, that quite frankly, I'm not sure I approve of. We love our veterans, we love our Gold Star families, but the fact of the matter is Mr. Khan politically used his time on the stage to go after Donald Trump," Perry, a veteran himself, said during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper.
Perry added that Trump had a right to fire back at Khan, who waved a copy of the Constitution at the DNC and questioned whether Trump understood the founding principles of the country.
"Mr. Khan is the one that went out and struck the first blow," Perry said. "In a campaign, if you are going to go out and think you can take a shot and somebody and not have incoming coming back at you, shame on you."
Perry suggested that Khan, who along with his wife has been engaged in a battle of words with Trump since the convention, had been offered a "free ride" by the Democrats.
"Why in the world he thought he was going to get a free ride with that is beyond me," Perry said.