FORT WORTH – Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott today delivered remarks at the Republican Party of Texas 2014 state convention. Following an introduction by his daughter, Abbott outlined his Bicentennial Blueprint for the future of the state of Texas.
In the included remarks, Abbott detailed his vision, saying, "The Bicentennial Blueprint will ensure Texans born today will live in a state with better schools, better healthcare, safer communities, and – of course – the best job market in the country.
"Our fight is not with another candidate or party. It's a fight for the future of every Texan. And I will never stop fighting for their future. To Texans looking for leadership that doesn’t take them for granted - that speaks to their highest hopes and deepest concerns - I am your candidate. To Texans wary of modern day politics who want candidates to say what they are for - not just what they are against - I am your candidate. And for Texans looking for a champion of Texas values - for a leader who won’t back down from the fight for liberty - I am your candidate."
Republican Party of Texas State Convention Speech:
*Greg Abbott often deviates from prepared remarks. The following has been condensed for purposes of brevity.
Thank you Fort Worth. Thanks to my daughter Audrey for her introduction. From the moment I held her on the day she was born, I’ve thanked God for the precious gift of her life.
I’m proud to be joined by my beautiful wife Cecilia. She has a heart as big as Texas. But it’s her soul where you see her real strength. We were married for just two years when a huge oak tree crashed down onto my back leaving me paralyzed and forever changing our lives. It is so easy for brides and grooms to recite the wedding vow– for better for worse, in sickness and in health. But it is awesome to see your spouse truly embrace those vows like Cecilia has. Two months from now, we will celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. That shows the character of the next First Lady of Texas.
We gather today under the promise that sets this state apart: That through hard work and big dreams each of us can succeed and each generation can surpass the previous one. Texas is the place where that promise still remains true. We're here today because we love this state too much to let the next four years in Texas look like the last six years under Barack Obama. I refuse to let our children be condemned to liberal policies that saddle them with debt, where the middle class is burdened with regulations that drive up costs and kill jobs, where government power overtakes individual freedom. I will not let them California our Texas.
Barack Obama and his operatives have set their sights on Texas. Liberal elites from the East Coast to the West Coast have fawned over and financed my opponent to try to remake Texas in their image. We’ve already seen that image. The President showed disdain for Texas values when – at a San Francisco cocktail party – he belittled Americans who “cling” to guns and God.
My opponent shares Barack Obama's mindset. She’s voted to restrict 2nd Amendment rights and even said she would “happily” sign gun restrictions into law. She took action against keeping God in our Pledge of Allegiance. And she stood for 13 hours to advocate abortion – even after five months. Of all things she then said she was pro-life because she wants every child to have a better chance in life. But for a child to have a chance in life – a child must first have a chance at life. I have news for the Obama Democrats: Texans value life. We trust in God. And Texans know the 2nd Amendment and the 10th Amendment are not suggestions - they are guaranteed rights.
My opponent even went to New York City and trashed Texas policies – calling our policies toxic. Toxic? Tell that to the leaders of Toyota who are moving their headquarters to Texas. Tell that to Catholic Latinas who praise Texas for protecting life. And tell that to the millions of middle class Texans who’ve landed a job in the state with the best business climate in America.
Talk about toxic – it’s my opponent’s record that's toxic to Texas. She didn’t just vote to raise taxes. She specifically targeted seniors and the disabled for higher taxes. She supports President Obama's EPA war on the Texas energy industry. And she's already said she would expand ObamaCare in Texas. Her prescription for Texas – is more government. My prescription? More freedom. You deserve a governor who will fight for freedom, for our future, for real Texas values. That’s why I’m proud to be your nominee for Governor of Texas.
This election is about two very different visions for Texas. What’s at stake is what kind of Texas children born today inherit when they graduate from college in 2036? 2036 is more than just 22 years from today. In 2036, we celebrate the bicentennial of Texas independence that put us on a pathway to become the greatest state in the nation. In 2036, we will look back at 200 years of accomplishments. At a victory at San Jacinto that gave birth to a Republic - and eventually the 28th State. At a frontier spirit that inspired generations of Texans to pioneer the way in the oil patch, on ranch lands and ultimately into outer space.
The bicentennial blueprint will ensure Texans born today will live in a state with better schools, better healthcare, safer communities, and – of course – the best job market in the country. My blueprint limits the size of government. It stimulates the private sector to create more jobs and lets you keep more of your money. My plan sets real spending limits in the Constitution. Your family has to live within a budget - government should too. My plan protects the Rainy Day Fund from being used like an ATM to pay for government operations. And my plan stops diverting transportation funding away from building roads. Money raised for roads should be spent on roads.
But Texans cannot prosper if they aren’t safe. My bicentennial blueprint offers new programs to crack down on horrendous crimes like human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault. And it makes schools safer for our children. And my plan will do what the federal government has failed to do: It will secure our porous border from the drug cartels and gangs that import crime to our state. This is more than just a border issue. We’ve seen the deadly danger of cartel activity infiltrate our schools and contaminate communities across the state. Our priorities are wrong when we live in a state that stops a valedictorian from mentioning God at a graduation speech but doesn’t stop drug cartels from crossing our border. As Governor, I will provide the tools and manpower we need to secure our border and I will enforce the rule of law.
The border is not the only thing the federal government is failing at. Just look at federal run healthcare. ObamaCare and VA care make one thing clear: the federal government doesn’t have a clue how to run healthcare. We need to get government out of healthcare and allow doctors and patients – not bureaucrats – to decide what’s best for our health. I’ve heard too many stories of patients losing their trusted doctor, seniors being excluded from the best hospitals, families being stuck with hefty bills, and doctors not only leaving their profession but leaving America with a shrinking supply of doctors. As Attorney General, I sued to stop ObamaCare. As Governor, I will continue to fight for a healthcare system that puts patients first and bureaucrats last. We need to look no further than the VA to see the future under Obamacare. No veteran who has fought for this country should suffer the indignity of being denied care due to bureaucratic bungling. It is time to renew this nation’s commitment to our warriors. Having served on the frontlines, they should go to the front of the line.
The cornerstone of my bicentennial blueprint is education. My wife has been both a teacher and a principal. We’ve seen how education can transform young lives so children can achieve things their parents couldn’t even dream of.
The job of the Governor is to set the vision. Here’s mine: Texas proudly ranks number one in the nation for job creation. We’re number one for energy. We’re number one for exports, for farms, for so many things. The time has come for Texas to set its sights on another number one ranking. Texas should be number one in the nation for educating our children.
My bicentennial blueprint focuses on helping every child learn to read and do math –at grade level – by third grade. My plan returns genuine local control to schools by allowing schools to opt out of mandates from Austin. Teachers and parents know far better how to educate our children. than do a bunch of bureaucrats in Austin or Washington. And my plan will stop forcing teachers to teach to so many high-stakes tests. When Texas reaches its bicentennial – it won’t matter how any child did on a four hour test. What will matter is if our children are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. My bicentennial blueprint ensures Texas children will be ready for those challenges.
Our fight is not with another candidate or party. It's a fight for the future of every Texan. And I will never stop fighting for their future. To Texans looking for leadership that doesn’t take them for granted - that speaks to their highest hopes and deepest concerns - I am your candidate. To Texans wary of modern day politics who want candidates to say what they are for - not just what they are against - I am your candidate. And for Texans looking for a champion of Texas values - for a leader who won’t back down from the fight for liberty - I am your candidate.
Let me close by sharing a lesson I learned in a different kind of race. Running track. After practice was over and we had run all the required laps, we decided to run just one more. That extra work helped me go undefeated in the regular season. I’ve applied that lesson in everything I do. After the accident that left me in this wheelchair, I had to find a way to rebuild my strength. After work – long after the sun had set – I would come home, change clothes, and roll four blocks down the road to an 8-story parking garage. To work out – I would roll up that garage repeatedly. The first floor of the parking garage was easy. With each floor, it seemed like the garage got steeper and harder to climb - but I wasn’t about to quit. As I pushed harder and harder – ignoring the pain – I just kept saying to myself: just one more, just one more, just one more.
I apply the same lesson to this campaign. When I finish making all my calls for the day, I make just one more. When I go to events and shake hands before I leave, I shake just one more.
My friends, we have more than a track meet to win; more than a parking garage to climb – we're fighting for the very future of Texas. If we're going to make Texas freer, stronger and better, then I need you to join me in doing just one more. If every day you can knock on just one more door, make just one more call, send just one more email, take just one more person to the polls – then we will do more than win just one more election - we will win the next generation.
God Bless you all.
And may God Bless Texas.