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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 1, 2008

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the Texas Delegation Breakfast
Crowne Plaza Hotel
St. Paul, Minnesota

8:19 A.M. CDT

MRS. BUSH: Thank you all. You know, I'm here today because I was going to give a speech tonight on the floor and introduce the President, who we knew was not going to come yesterday, he would come in by video. And then, of course, now, as you know, the Monday night program has been cancelled. But I'm already here, and so I wanted to take this opportunity to stop and see as many delegations as I could, and I had to start with my home state, Texas. (Applause.)

In a little bit, Cindy McCain and I are going to go back to the Louisiana delegation, and I hope I'll be able to stop at a few more. I know everyone is disappointed. People have come from all over the country to the convention, and I know people are disappointed that we won't get to have the great programs tonight, and maybe some more nights; we don't know, we'll have to see. I guess they'll make a decision day by day. But everyone understands, and I know all of you understand, because, of course, Texas is one of those states that will feel the effects of Gustav. And all our sisters and brother states right down the Gulf Coast, we're thinking about them and watching them, and hoping for the very best; hoping the damage won't be too severe.

As we look at it, we're so happy that so many people have evacuated this time, and that the coordination between the federal government, the state governments and the local governments is so much better than it was after Hurricane Katrina. So I think things will -- the response by every level of government is going to be a lot better.

George is in Texas today. He's going to go to Austin, which is serving as one of the headquarters for this storm, and then to San Antonio, which is providing -- where there are refuges for people from the Gulf Coast area. About 4,000 people, I think, have come to San Antonio, one of the cities. And a number, as you probably know, a number of your cities, a number of Texas cities, have volunteered to be cities to open a refuge for people from across the Gulf Coast who are evacuating.

So everyone understands. I know we're disappointed about not having tonight's program, but I also know that we've got business to do, and that that's what you all will be doing when the convention opens at around 2:00 p.m. You will be taking care of all the business that is required by law for us to nominate our great candidate, Senator John McCain, and our great vice presidential candidate. (Applause.)

I'm proud that I'm going to get my wish to vote for a Republican woman. (Laughter and applause.) George and I know Governor Palin from the National Governors Association meetings. We've met her in Washington. We had just stopped in Alaska on our way to the Olympics in -- to see our troops in Alaska. And we were just with her on August 4th. And I'll have to say we were both surprised with her nomination, but thrilled with her nomination. We know how tough she is -- (applause) -- and we know what kind of women the state of Alaska produces, and how tough and strong she is. And she's a reformer. I think we can be very happy to have her on our ticket.

Not only that, she's been a mayor. Mayors across the country will know how close your constituents are when your next-door neighbors are calling you to tell you about some problem with potholes on the streets, and I think Alaska has a lot of those because of their weather. But I think she'll bring a perspective to our ticket that we haven't had in a long time, and that is a very, very strong local perspective of knowing what life is like in cities and towns all across our country. And I'm so proud that we have a woman on our ticket, and I'm really, really proud that it's Sarah Palin. She's going to do a terrific job campaigning with Senator McCain across the country.

And I also just want to say -- this is one of the things I was going to talk about in my speech tonight -- and that is how much I admire Cindy McCain. She has for years worked with international organizations, including Operation Smile. And she was just with the World Food Program in Tbilisi, Georgia. She's already done so many things, represented the United States internationally with a -- from our country to all parts of the world. I know she'll be really a very wonderful first lady.

So I'm very happy to be here. I'm happy to be here with you all. Thank you all for coming. Thank you for your very hard work for the Republican Party. Thank you for working so hard to make sure Senator John McCain is elected -- and he will be. (Applause.) So thank you all very, very much. (Applause.)

END 8:25 A.M. CDT

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