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 Home > News & Policies > September 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 1, 2008

Mrs. Bush's and Mrs. McCain's Remarks at the Republican National Convention
Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul, Minnesota

4:47 P.M. CDT

MRS. BUSH: Thank you all very, very much. Thank you so much for the warm welcome. I'm so happy to be here with you here in Minneapolis/St. Paul for the Republican Convention while we nominate Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin to be our next President and Vice President. (Applause.)

I want to tell you that, like all of you, George and I were planning to come to enjoy this convention, to have a really good time. And we would have been here tonight speaking, but of course, as we all know, events on the Gulf Coast region have changed the focus of our attention, and our first priority now today is to ensure the safety and the well-being of those living in the Gulf Coast region. (Applause.)

And, to all of those living in the Gulf Coast states and to each of you, each of the delegations from those Gulf Coast states, please know that our thoughts and our prayers are with you and your families and your friends who are still at home.

The effect of Hurricane Gustav is just now being measured. When such events occur, we're reminded that, first, we're all Americans -- (applause) -- and that our shared American ideals will always transcend political parties and partisanship. We hope that the people on the Gulf Coast know that the American people are here to do what we can to assist them. (Applause.)

President Bush has been speaking with the officials in the region to make sure they have what they need from the federal government. And today he visited the emergency operations center in Austin, which is coordinating the efforts among the federal, state and local officials.

During our time in the White House, we've had the pleasure of getting to know each of the governors from those Gulf Coast states. They're all strong leaders, and they were planning to be with us today. They all also happen to be Republicans. (Applause.) But we know that it's far more important for them to remain in their home states to provide the leadership and the management of this crisis.

Four of these Gulf Coast governors have taped messages for us, and I'm sure you can understand why Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana could not participate. (Applause.) So please listen to these important messages from these four great governors. Let's listen to see what they have to say. (Applause.)

(Video is played.)

MRS. McCAIN: Thank you. I am so honored and so proud to be standing next to Mrs. Bush. As we work together -- yes -- (applause) -- as we work together to extend our support to relief efforts in the Gulf.

As each of the Gulf Coast governors just expressed to us, their challenges will continue in the days ahead. I would ask that each one of us commit to join together to aid those in need as quickly as possible.

As John has been saying for the last several days, this is a time when we take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats. (Applause.)

In that spirit, we'd like to ask that you go to a website called "Cause Greater" -- or -- that will allow all of us to aid those who have been affected by Hurricane Gustav. Although the task of helping the region recover from this disaster is too large for any one individual or organization together, together we can accomplish so much to help those who have been affected. This fund will play an important role in contributing to other relief efforts already underway.

Thank you. (Applause.)

MRS. BUSH: Americans are known for coming to the aid of their fellow citizens when crises such as these arise. Today -- and in the coming days -- let's work together to provide those affected with the means to restore and rebuild their communities. (Applause.)

MRS. McCAIN: The charities listed on the screen behind us have been identified by each of the Gulf Coast governors to accept donations of funds, clothing and other necessary and much-needed supplies. As you can, and as you are willing, please support this important effort.

Thank you. (Applause.)

MRS. BUSH: Thank you all, and God bless you. (Applause.)

END 5:00 P.M. CDT