On Friday, following her remarks to the Texas Federation of Republican Women Convention, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison issued the following statement to the citizens of Texas, for exclusive distribution by The Texas Observer. (Note: Remarks in boldface are identical to Sen. Hutchison’s comments to the Republican women, highlighting the remarkable consistency of her message.) “Fellow Texans, We stand today at a historic crossroads in our nation’s history. And our nation includes Texas. I pledge to you that I will fight to ensure that it always does. I am proud to have fought for policies that keep us strong. You can trust me to continue fighting. You can trust that I will. Seriously. When have I wavered? Last weekend a bill passed out of the House, taking us one perilous step closer to a government takeover of nearly-one third of our economy. The Democrats are going to pull out every stop to socialize American medicine. We are a step closer to huge tax increases for the wealthy, for whom I have fought since you first gave me the opportunity to serve you. The health-care interests from whom I have received $1.4 million over the past five years are not going to take this lying down. And neither am I. You can trust me on this. I will fight for Texas. From my omnipotent position as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, I am uniquely positioned to fight socialized medicine. Without my leadership, there is a grave danger that many of the one-quarter of Texans without health insurance will be covered in just a few years’ time. I cannot walk away while this fight is being fought by our fellow Republicans. I must stay and fight with them. Without me, democracy as we know it collapses. The earth darkens. Night reigns. That is why my colleagues have repeatedly begged, pleaded with me: ‘Kay, you are our only hope. You must not abandon the fight.’ So fight I will. You elected me to the Senate to fight for Texas.You can trust that I will. This is why I will not leave the Senate before the end of the year. I have said before that I intended to resign this fall after the government takeover of healthcare is defeated. While it is possible that I may have specifically mentioned October or November, I did not give an exact date for resignationbecause I was waiting for the socialist assault to begin. As you can clearly see, I am more determined than ever to become the 48th governor of our great state. But I must put what’s best for my campaign aside and do what is best for Texas. For Aetna. For Big Oil. And for my loyal husband, Ray, who has profited so richly from the offices that you have elected me to. While I am announcing that I will not leave the Senate before the end of the year, I am also saying: this will keep me in the Senate past the primary election. But that is a difference without a distinction. What is a few months between stalwart friends? Because I must fight. Health care looms. Cap-and-trade threatens to clean up the air and water of Texas. These issues are too important to leave the fight to a newly appointed freshman senator. When the Democrats changed the timetable, I imagined how it would be for Texas to be represented by an interim appointee. One who doesn’t yet know the Senate during the biggest fight I have seen in my time. Although I want to be home, I know in my heart I could not leave. Will my critics attack me for this decision? Probably. Will the people of Texas even notice? Probably not. Is this a change of plans? Yes. And I wil be honest. It is certainly not my preference. But it is the right thing to do for Texas. Let me also be crystal clear about one thing. I will be resigning this Senate seat. For all of the good Republicans out there who plan on running for my seat next year, make no mistake. This is going to happen. It just isn’t going to happen until after health care reform and cap and trade are finished. And that will be after the primary election. And as you know, my friends, any woman can multi-task and that is exactly what I am going to do. I will not give my full attention to the Senate. I will not give my full energy to the campaign for governor. I will, to put it another way, fight for Texas.You can trust that I will. I simply cannot leave until we have fought to the end.
And this is why I am running for governor, because I know the real challenges facing our state cannot be fixed from Washington. Therefore, I will stay in Washington. Because I believe now more than ever that we need a serious leader who will put Texas first. As governor, you can trust that I will work to keep taxes low. Just as I have in the United States Senate, where I was named “Porker of the Month” for my massive Congressional earmarks. I am proud of this mark of leadership. It is the kind of principled conservatism that Texas deserves. As governor, you can trust that I will officially kill the Trans-Texas Corridor once and for all. As your Senator, I voted for the voted for the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act which expanded the “flexibility to use tolling to finance infrastructure improvements.” This principled stand made it possible for Governor Perry to advance his Trans-Texas Corridor plans. Which I then fought. And will continue to fight. For Texas.And that is the kind of leadership you can trust me to bring to Texas. Soon. You can trust that I will. I pledge to you that I will also fight for the Republican Party of Texas. My remaining in the Senate has made it impossible for up-and-coming leaders of the party to begin their campaigns for higher offices in time to win. It is this kind of principled leadership that will save this great party from irrelevance. Last year the top of the ticket lost five of the six largest counties in Texas. We are three seats away from losing the Texas House. With an absentee candidate leading us into the 2010 general elections, I firmly believe we can do better. We must. We will. For Texas. In closing, you can trust that I will, in a word, fight. I will fight for a way to serve as both governor and senator at once. For Texas. Which reminds me: Texas is the greatest state in America. I am running for governor to keep it that way. And I am asking you today for your support. Thank you. God bless you. God bless Texas. And God bless America.”