Sen. Hutchison was introduced Karen Hughes, by former advisor to President George W. Bush.
Sen. Hutchison’s speech lasted twelve minutes. She touched on several topics, these stood out to me:
- Gov. Rick Perry – a committed public servant that has been in office too long. He rejected stimulus unemployment money for political gain and then had to borrow the same money from the federal government. He has been in office too long, Sen. Hutchison said that Texas governors should have term limits, eight years is long enough. If he is re-elected, that would give him 14 years of appointing people to all levels of government, too much.
- Education – Texas cannot afford to lead the nation in high-school dropout rates. She would create incentives for math and science teachers to specialize in those fields. We need to move from a K-12 paradigm to a PreK-14 paradigm, our early childhood programs must be improved. Everyone should have a chance to go to college but for those who choose not to, we need to create a system of trade schools to fill the needs of employers.
- Health care – She will fight against the current health care reform bill until she resigns from the Senate. Texas needs to leverage its resources to provide affordable health care for all. A good way to view her health care platform is to take the current federal reform bill and reverse it 180 degrees. No penalties or fines, just good health care for all.
- Transportation – TxDOT is the most arrogant and unaccountable agency in the entire country. She will reform and expand the current commission, adding representation from all areas of the state. Local input will be required on any projects. She is committed to free roads and highways and will return to that model.
- Governance – She will create a Commission 2025 filled with leaders from around the state to determine necessary reforms for state government.
- Texas Republican Party – It is in its worst shape ever under the tenure of Rick Perry. As leader of the state party, she will work to rebuild the party and elect Republicans at all levels of government.
- Back to Rick Perry – She smacked him hard on his executive order to force little girls to be vaccinated with an unproven drug. She also took a shot at the way he has handled (mishandled?) Texas A&M, stating that politics should not be allowed to ruin a great institution.
I’ll update this tonight with podcasts of her speech and Karen Hughes’ introduction.
The race is on.
As promised, audio from the kickoff rally:
Kay Bailey Hutichison (click for podcast)
Karen Hughes’ introduction (click for podcast)