Texas Gov. Rick Perry is defending his oversight of a state fund for emerging technologies.

According to a report by The Dallas Morning News, companies with ties to at least eight big donors received awards from the fund.

Texas has given more than $170 million to 120 companies since the fund began in 2003.

Perry says the fund has helped create more than 50,000 jobs and the Texas legislature has "full oversight" of the program. He says 75 percent of the companies that got money never contributed to his campaign.

Perry was asked during a Republican presidential primary debate about the Obama administration's support of a solar energy company that received more than $500 million in federal money, then went bankrupt. Perry says he opposed the federal support.