9/28/2009 10:52 AM
As LSR readers know, Republican Party of Texas Chairman Tina Benkiser resigned at Saturday’s State Republican Executive Committee meeting. LSR’s William Lutz was the only reporter present at the meeting. Lutz recorded Benkiser’s speech and we post the digital audio file here.
In her speech, Benkiser both praises Gov. Rick Perry and blasts – though not by name – U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s campaign. But more importantly, she tells her story, the story of why she decided to resign as chairman of the Republican Party and join the Rick Perry campaign. The story that Benkiser recounts in her remarks to the SREC is about a speech that she gave to a Republican organization in Edna, Texas a few weeks ago.
I recommend hearing the entire speech
for yourself, but here are a couple of notable quotes:
“As I recited the remarkable achievements of Texas – the number one rankings, the accolades that Texas continues to receive – I watched them in their seats, as they began to sit a little bit straighter. As I finally got through, their chests were out, and they were proud to be Texans,” she said. “… After I got through there were lines of people beaming saying ‘thank you for sharing some good news with us. We knew there had to be good news out there. We never heard this before’ … So I was quite surprised to hear later about a call on behalf of an elected official who had been represented at that same meeting. This campaign was extremely upset because I had shared such great news about Texas. I was stunned.”
“But too much is at stake to stand silently, and as many of you know, I’m not silent. Effective Oct. 5, I’m stepping down as chairman so that I can publicly and enthusiastically support the only true conservative candidate in the Governor’s race, Gov. Rick Perry … Gov. Perry has shown leadership when Washington has not, and he’s shown courage when others have failed.
"This change has come actually pretty quickly in the last 36 hours, really the last 12 hours. I’m confident my choice will move forward the conservative cause in Texas and America as I become Senior Advisor to Gov. Perry’s re-election effort … You will be choosing a new chairman. I urge you to choose carefully. I stand up here today with mixed emotions for so many reasons, not the least of which is this comes as a complete and total surprise to everybody in this room. It was to my husband last night at 11 o’clock … Please don’t rush to make a decision until you know all of your choices."