Texas Governor Rick Perry at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Text of the speech:

It’s such an honor to be back at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, with friends old and new. I bring greetings and good wishes from the people of Texas.

It’s so nice to visit California, even when I’m not here recruiting businesses.

I’ve been in this beautiful state of yours quite a bit in recent years, and I freely admit my motive.

I’m the governor of a pro-jobs, low-regulation state with no income tax, and I want California companies to know about that.

So many Californians have been taking me up on the offer to pack up and move that I can hardly stop myself from making the pitch.

I knew I had a problem when I drove up to the Reagan Library just now and found myself thinking, “Man, would this place look great down in Texas.”

Of course, even I have to concede that this presidential center could be here and only here.

When you think Ronald Reagan, you think Southern California. And even more, when the man comes to mind, we think of Nancy, who is still so loved and admired across America.

She graced her husband’s life for so long, and she has always been so kind to Anita and me. I am very grateful to Mrs. Reagan, and to all of my hosts at the library, for the privilege of being here today.

While all of us tonight are thinking back fifty years, to the choices of another time, I can’t be the only one here who’s also thinking eight days ahead.

And the more I see in these closing days before November 4th, the more it feels to me like a wave of change is coming in.

From New Hampshire, to Colorado, to Alaska, Republican candidates are running strong.  And if they finish strong and gain a Senate majority, then finally this president is going to get a little taste of checks and balances.

But we know this matter is in the hands of the American People, and I trust them to get it right.

The way events have transpired at home and abroad, this generation of Americans has arrived at its own time of choosing.

Our nation has arrived at a crossroads, and the choice we face is the well-worn path of entrusting more power to government, or the road less taken, of entrusting power with the people.

We have faced such decisions before: in 2008, in 1994, in 1980 and 1964.

As we remember the inspiring words of President Reagan 50 years ago tonight, in many respects, the world looks vastly different than it did 50 years ago.

The pace of technological change over the last half-century has been breathtaking.

Who could have conceived of wireless devices picking up a stream of your favorite movie, it was just enough back then to wish they were in color.

Technologies never heard of then are now obsolete. My children laugh at the idea of the fax machine, or calling someone for directions, or calling someone period when they can text them.

We no longer tune into our television at a specific hour to hear the news from a few trusted sources, we are bombarded by it 24-7, on cable, on the Internet, from blogs and Facebook.

The march of progress is fast-paced, furious, and inevitable. And yet many of the political challenges we face seem eerily familiar.

It was 50 years ago tonight that Ronald Reagan declared, “We’re at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it’s been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening.”

The world has changed, but present events give us a glimpse of a previous era.

Who can watch the unchecked Russian aggression toward Ukraine, and the annexation of Crimea, and not think of a different place in time, when Soviet tanks rolled through Prague, or when Soviet soldiers executed the blockade of West Berlin?

When you see extremists in Iran pursue nuclear weapons – weapons that could be used to hold hostage the interests of the West and Israel – are you not taken back to an earlier time when extremists stormed our embassy to take our fellow citizens hostage for 444 days?

When you see the military buildup of China, and the depletion of our own military forces, with a reduction in spending of 21 percent over four years, how can you not think of a previous era, soon after the end of the war in Vietnam, and wonder if we are not once again inviting threats to our interests at home and overseas by hollowing out our military forces?

No, our enemy is no longer the Soviet Union. What we face today is not the march of communism and its godless ideology, but the spread of fanaticism cloaked in the name of religion, yet reflecting none of the virtues of the faith they claim.

But due to the fact we still have vast military superiority in terms of technology and a trained fighting force, and international alliances that serve as a force multiplier for the mission ahead.

The nearest threat we face is not foreign in nature: it is from within.

It is our own complacency. It is the view that events thousands of miles away are not our business.

Or the view of cultural relativism that, while acknowledging the systematic savagery of the enemy, is also quick to point to the shortcomings of Western democracies.

They’ve got bad guys over there, we’ve got a few of our own – what’s the difference?

The attitudes I’m describing reflect a deep confusion, at a time when moral clarity is at a premium.

And this confusion can weaken the confidence we need in our own values, the values of Western Civilization.

There is not a Middle Eastern cultural standard that allows for the atrocities committed by ISIS any more than there is some North Korean custom that allows for concentration camps or mass starvation.

And when the radical Islamists, or their apologists in the West, claim to speak for any respectable culture or creed, we should not indulge that lie for a moment.

It matters that we understand all of this, for one reason especially: without confidence in the truth and goodness of our own values – the great moral inheritance of our own culture – how are we going to deal with the falsehood of theirs?

It is imperative, at this moment in history, that the United States of America be a voice of clarity, that when our values are threatened, and our allies are endangered, we defend them.
Otherwise, we risk becoming what the esteemed speaker warned us about: “Those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening.”

There is an urgency to this matter because our record on this score is not all that impressive in recent years.

We all remember the “red line” that the dictator in Syria was warned never to cross, and then did so with absolutely no consequences.

Vladimir Putin disregarding the sovereignty of Ukraine and the Chinese military buzzing our surveillance planes or intimidating their neighbors.

The regime in Iran drawing closer and closer to a nuclear weapon, and an army of jihadists tearing through Iraq only months after the president finally quit saying that we had the terrorists on the run.

On that last front, it is worth pointing out that the rise of ISIS can be directly attributed to the neglect of the president.

Whether it was a profound naïveté about the consequences of leaving no residual American force in Iraq, or worse yet, a political ploy to win an election.

We know that the inhuman acts of ISIS were allowed to occur because in the hour of decision the president chose a popular political path without concern for the real world consequences.

As for Iran, I would note that less than a week ago a senior advisor to the Iranian President called President Obama, “the weakest of presidents.” And the point is not that he said it, but that they believe it.

When malignant forces believe America is weak it invites all kinds of trouble that could otherwise be avoided.

And the opposite has been proven true. The very same day that Ronald Reagan became our 40th President, Iranian terrorists released our hostages.

They knew the price for defying American Power had just gone up. And they weren’t willing to pay it.

I wish I could say that the similarities to a previous era were confined to events overseas, that on the domestic front we have reaped a new prosperity unlike any previous era. But I am afraid that is not so.

Our debt is colossal, as is the bureaucracy. Government is once again pervasive in our lives.

More Americans are on food stamps than ever before, surely as true a barometer of the misery index as there ever was.

We were told by the Administration that jobs would be shovel-ready if money was poured into the bureaucracy in the form of stimulus.

That turned out to be as true as the idea that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

We have a so-called recovery that is weighted down by government, not aided by it. No area demonstrates this more than energy policy.

When the people in charge of things now think of “energy policy,” they think of controls, restrictions, more studies, more delays, and all the other timetables and barriers that bureaucracies are always dreaming up.

Six years of study on the Keystone Pipeline, and still nothing happens.

Dozens of liquefied natural gas facilities awaiting federal approval, and they’ve gotten around to signing off on only a very small number.

The whole Obama energy policy amounts to a long list of projects we cannot begin, permits we cannot grant, studies we cannot conclude and resources we cannot use.

That’s a mindset we need to shake off in a hurry, and start thinking big again, just like President Reagan did after the energy crises of the 1970’s.

We now have the largest energy resource base in the world, greater than Saudi Arabia or Russia.

Our arsenal of energy can enhance our national security and free our allies from dependence on aggressor states if we have the will to deploy it.

But here the current president dithers. He seems content to play small ball with a political base instead of hitting a home run for the American People.

It’s no wonder Americans are frustrated. We have entrusted immense power in government and Americans have never had less faith in its institutions.

The issue is not merely an adversarial agenda enacted by another party it is far deeper than that. It is about basic competence.

When veterans return from war, they should receive the best care America has to offer. Instead they were left to die on waiting lists. It has become a national shame.

If you have any question about whether government-run health care works, ask a military veteran.

While some agencies cannot perform the most basic life-saving functions, others have been empowered with malignant intent.

The political targeting of citizens by the IRS is a terrible stain on this Administration. And the response to this crisis does not inspire confidence in our leadership that six hard drives of key figures mysteriously crashed.

In the last year we have witnessed government bungle healthcare for heroes, target our citizens under tax laws, fail to operate a website for the president’s signature initiative, trade five terrorists for a soldier who disappeared under questionable circumstances, and leave the front door of the White House open so a crazy man could walk in.

It’s no wonder the American People no longer have faith in the federal government!

If you ask me to name the number one issue confronting America, I would not say it is our porous border. I would not say it is the weakest recovery since the Great Depression. I would not even say it’s all the challenges that are adding up overseas.

The greatest problem of all is that in the face of these troubles so many serious challenges, we don’t have the leadership to deal with them. We are experiencing a crisis in competence in America, and the people know it.

What is needed at this moment in time is leadership that can usher in a new era of reform and renewal to restore trust in government.

The institutions of government are faltering. Americans have lost faith. And they see Washington engaged in the politics of sound bites when they should be seeking solutions.

The president who decried the smallness of Washington has come to embody it.

We have indeed come to our own time for choosing. And the experience of these years has framed the questions for us in the clearest of terms.

Are we going to accept as inevitable in this country the constant expansion of federal power at the expense of individual liberty?

Will we just learn to live with it, accepting as normal the willful neglect of duty at the border, the routine arrogance of the IRS and the EPA, the chronic incompetence of the VA, and all the rest?

Will we look to that same establishment in Washington as the decider and director of economic activity: regulating, controlling, and slowly destroying the productive power of free enterprise?

We’ve been through years of slow growth, static wages, scarce jobs, an expansion of entitlements, and a narrowing of possibilities for the working people of this country.

Does anyone really believe this is the best that the United States of America can do?

Don’t we have an obligation to aim higher, so that our children can have lives of opportunity at least as good as ours?

And having borne witness to the fact that military decline, idle talk, and looking the other way only heighten the threats we face, will we simply continue on that path and hope for the best?

Or can our country be counted on again to meet challenges only we can meet and deter threats only we can deter, and lead as only America can lead?

Thinking on the next two years, I doubt very much that after this season of disappointment, mediocrity, and decline a slow correction of course is what voters will be looking for.

I believe that come 2016, if the American people are given that choice, they will be ready for a clean break from the Obama agenda or anything like it.

To consider just the American economy today, it is nowhere near what this country is capable of achieving.

We have the potential and the resources to grow and create jobs at far higher levels, and anyone who tells you otherwise is making excuses.

I know this because the people of Texas are showing how it’s done.

Instead of taking private enterprise for granted, as government can so easily do, we respect the freedom that it needs.

We respect work, which in practice should mean that government doesn’t tax wages too much, or tax companies so much that they quit hiring people.

And finally, in my state, we’ve learned to respect the facts of economic life, including this fact: capital moves, and it tends to go where it is most welcome.

By limiting the size and scope of government, we have created unlimited opportunity.

That helps explain why one-third of all new private-sector jobs in America have been created in Texas since I became governor.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, for the period starting in December of 2007 and ending in September of this year, we see two different trends.

Texas has experienced a net job increase of 1.32 million jobs, a 12 percent increase in our state. Minus Texas, America has experienced a decline of 993,000 jobs nationwide, or nearly one percent.

If you have been to Texas, you know we like to think we are unique, because we tend to tell you so.

But the principles of economic recovery are not unique to Texas. Texas is not experiencing a miracle anymore than California did in the days of Governor Reagan.

The reason I say this is that miracles cannot be replicated, but economic recovery can.

It can happen anywhere in America. Growth and job creation far beyond what Americans have gotten used to these past six years all across this country, from Massachusetts to California, it is just waiting to happen.

It is just a matter of whether we will continue on the path of the last six years or choose a different course for our future.

50 years ago, Ronald Reagan summed it up well when he said, “This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government, or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

What shall it be my fellow Americans? Shall we continue to place trust in the levers of the bureaucratic machinery, or in the hands of the American worker?

I have never believed that the goodness of America is rooted in our government, but our people.

Government works best when it respects those values like hard work, personal freedom and individual responsibility.

None of that is to say that government is bad, it is simply misdirected in its present state.

At most it can only be a partner in prosperity. It cannot replace the industriousness of the individual worker, or assume the responsibility of our families.

For too long it has expanded into our lives, and played too central of a role.

But a simple fact remains: the larger government grows, the smaller our circle of freedoms.

In recent weeks I have traveled to Tokyo, London and Warsaw. And I have found America is admired for its freedoms.

I have met those who once lived under the yoke of Communism who are trying to emulate America and wondering why in the world our leaders would seek to emulate Western Europe.

They also know a strong America, with a vibrant economy, is central to a safer world.

I don’t sense any desire among America’s friends and allies to see this country less engaged in their security, or less involved in their future.

They still believe that there is no substitute for the good and peaceful influence of the United States.

And if they hold to that conviction about America, is it asking too much that our own leaders believe the same?

If such questions have a familiar ring, it is because they are so fundamental.

They are questions about our country, our national character, and our duties, leaving us with choices like those that Ronald Reagan put to America fifty years ago tonight.

For all his conviction and eloquence, it’s worth recalling that the great majority, one week after Reagan’s speech chose a different course.

Barry Goldwater, so gallant in his own right, lost 44 states.

And not until 16 years later did Reagan become president, by winning 44 states.

Great changes in direction are often like that – slow in coming.

And you and I in these years have done our own share of waiting, wondering when the moment will come again for the cause we believe in.

As that chance draws closer, let us be as clear in our purposes, as confident in our principles, and as cheerful in the contest of ideas as Ronald Reagan was all through the journey that began on that October night in 1964.

He liked to remind us that “the American dream lives” – not only here, but in other free nations, in oppressed nations, and everywhere that people look to America for leadership.

“As long as that dream lives,” he said, “as long as we continue to defend it, America has a future, and all mankind has reason to hope.”

Thank you very much.

********

This speech was given on October 27, 2014 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

Governor Rick Perry: Week in Review 8/23/2013

August 17, 2013

An unlikely alliance of left and right

August 19, 2013

Governor Perry meets with 36th Infantry Division Soldiers

Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on Obamacare Video Contest

Texas’ job miracle

Rick Perry to headline Calif. GOP convention

Texas Gov. Rick Perry set for top speaking slot at GOP convention in Cali

August 20, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry blasts ObamaCare as Sebelius visits Texas to promote the law

Gov. Rick Perry to Tout Texas’ Low Taxes in Missouri

Governor’s Office: We’re Not Negotiating on Obamacare

August 21, 2013

Governor Perry Announces TEF Investment in Fritz Industries Creating 250 Jobs in Greenville

August 22, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry Releases Radio Ad in Missouri

 

 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry to travel to Missouri to promote jobs

Texas Gov. Rick Perry backs Mo. income tax cut

Gov. Rick Perry Statement on Dept. of Justice Lawsuits

Gov. Rick Perry to Malzberg: White House Run in 2016 Remains ‘Very Viable Option’

 

 

August 23, 2013

Rick Perry welcomes a potential presidential debate with Ted Cruz

Statement by Governor Perry on Hasan Verdict

Gov. Rick Perry on DOJ plan to sue Texas over voter ID law

Governor Rick Perry: Week in Review 7/26/2013

July 23, 2013

Where Obama Fails, GOP Governors Find Solutions

July 24, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry to keynote Americans for Prosperity conference in Florida

Gov. Rick Perry willing to call third special session if transportation stalls

July 25, 2013

Statement by Governor Rick Perry on Protecting Texas’ Voter Integrity Laws

Gov. Rick Perry Announces TETF Investments in Texas Companies Creating Therapies for Water Purification, Disease Diagnosis

July 26, 2013

Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on Death of George Mitchell

Governor Rick Perry: Week in Review 7/19/2013

July 13, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry Says Texans Will Help Rebuild West

July 14, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry on CNN discussing HB 2

Gov. Rick Perry tells CNN about fostering strong business climate in Texas

Gov. Rick Perry on Zimmerman verdict: ‘Our justice system is color blind’

Texas Gov. Rick Perry: Critics are wrong about abortion bill

Gov. Rick Perry: Public Won’t Trust D.C. On Immigration “Until They Secure The Border”

July 15, 2014

Texas: How Pro-Lifers Won

July 16, 2014

Gov. Rick Perry: New University a Beacon of Opportunity, Innovation, Potential in South Texas

 

 

‘Every dream could become a reality’: Gov. Rick Perry, UT officials celebrate merger, medical school

July 17, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry: Texas Is the New Frontier for Opportunity, Innovation in America

Text of Gov. Rick Perry’s Remarks at Texas Association of Business Central Texas Chamber of Commerce

July 18, 2013

Texas Governor Rick Perry Signs Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions

Text of Gov. Rick Perry’s Remarks at House Bill 2 Signing

Gov. Rick Perry Signs Historic Pro-Life Legislation

 

 

July 19, 2013

Can Rick Perry Win in 2016?

 

Governor Rick Perry: Week in Review 7/13/2013

July 7, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry: ‘We’re going to pass’ abortion restrictions in Texas

Governor Perry Vows Texas Will Pass Ban on Late-Term Abortions

July 8, 2013

Erick Erickson interviews Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Governor Rick Perry on ‘On the Record with Greta Van Susteren’

July 9, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry Appeals President’s Denial of Major Disaster Declaration for West Explosion

Can Anyone Stop Rick Perry In 2016?

Rick Perry 2016? Don’t count him out

July 10, 2013

Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on House Passage of HB 2

July 11, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry, Texas’s Star Business Recruiter, Will Be Missed

Exclusive: Rick Perry’s October trip to Israel sign of another White House bid

Gov. Rick Perry Sets November 5 Special Election for Texas State House District 50

July 12, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry Speaks at American Legion Texas Annual State Convention

July 13, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry to speak in West

Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on Passage of Pro-Life Legislation

Governor Rick Perry’s July 8th Announcement

 

 

Governor Perry’s speech:

Thank you. I am delighted to be joined today by my wife, Anita, my children Sydney, Griffin and his lovely wife Meredith, and especially our precious little granddaughter Ella Gray, who was born just a couple weeks ago.

It’s good to be joined by my extended family of staff and former staff, there must be hundreds of you here today. And it is great to see so many supporters who have made the high honor of public service possible.

It has been an improbable journey that has taken me from a farm in a place called Paint Creek to the Texas Governor’s Office. Each day has been an honor, serving the most dynamic, optimistic and independent people on the face of the earth.

We have created the strongest economy in the nation. We have balanced budgets while prioritizing critical infrastructure, including water, roads and public schools, all to encourage economic growth.

We have passed sweeping lawsuit reforms that allowed thousands of doctors to improve access to health care. Our civil justice reforms have protected jobs and investment, ensuring the courthouse is reserved for legitimate disputes.

Working with legislative leaders, I have proudly signed seven balanced state budgets, cutting spending in lean times, and investing more in necessary services when our economy was strongest. We have stopped all major tax hikes, and kept the overall Texas tax burden among the lowest in the country.

We have cut property tax rates, reformed the franchise tax, and provided tax relief to small businesses.

We have stood strong against unwise policies from Washington that would bust the bank, policies that come with strings attached, and a large cost down the road, things like an unwise expansion of unemployment insurance, or an unsustainable expansion of the Medicaid program.

In the most recent session, we made a historic investment in preserving and protecting our water supply that will pay dividends for decades to come. It’s now up to voters to approve.

We have also invested in groundbreaking research at our universities, and championed reforms to make them stronger, more affordable and more accessible for all students.

Through the creation of the Emerging Technology Fund, we have planted seed capital for Texas entrepreneurs, innovators and universities to boost ideas and innovations that are changing the world. I am especially proud that our investments attracted major federal research funding to develop vaccines at Texas A&M University, to respond to major outbreaks of new strains of the flu, or acts of bio-terrorism.

The Brazos Valley is already being transformed into a biotech-corridor that is luring major pharmaceutical investment and will be home to thousands of new jobs.

We have better protected the right to life for Texas children and families, protected the sanctity of marriage, and respected the traditional values that made Texas the greatest state in the greatest nation on earth. We Texans are not afraid to fight for what we believe in.

Leadership demands action, developing new policies, challenging established interests, and finding better ways to finance and achieve success.

My conservative philosophy and policies have frequently made government agencies, special interests and even some legislators uncomfortable. But that’s exactly what Texas needs to succeed, innovate and stay ahead of the competition.

Most of all, I am proud of what we have done together to create jobs and opportunity in Texas.1.6 million jobs have been created in Texas since I became governor, with 30 percent of the net new jobs created in America over the last decade created right here in Texas.

This is a tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of Texans. It’s the private sector that creates wealth and jobs, the public sector can only create the right environment to make this possible. This, in my opinion, is where we have done our best work. Texas is the new frontier for opportunity and innovation in America today. Our communities are thriving with opportunity, cultural attractions and a tremendous quality of life. Today, Texas is better positioned to take advantage of the opportunities of the 21st Century than any other state.

We have been ranked the best business climate nine years running, and we’ve led the nation in exports for the last decade.

All along the way, I have been guided by a simple philosophy: the best way to fund education and healthcare is through job creation, not higher taxation.

Texas works. The jobs prove it. The revenue picture proves it. The number of people moving here proves it. And that hasn’t happened by accident.

Texas works because we have less government, less spending, fair regulations, and lower taxes. We have built a pathway to prosperity through innovation and ingenuity.

The Book of Ecclesiastes teaches us, “For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

And from the book of Darrell Royal: “Dance with the one who brung ya.”

I remain excited about the future, and the challenges ahead, but the time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership.

Today I am announcing I will not seek re-election as governor of Texas.

I will spend the next 18 months working to create more Texas jobs, opportunity and innovation. I will work to actively lead this great state. And I will also pray, reflect and work to determine my own future path.

I make this announcement with a deep sense of humility and appreciation for the time and trust the people of this state have given me, and knowing I will truly miss serving in this capacity, the greatest job in modern politics.

None of this would have been possible without the love and support of two great parents, who raised me right in a humble home in Paint Creek, Texas. Or the love of my life, my wife Anita, who has blessed me with two incredible children. She has been a fantastic first lady of Texas, shining a light on important causes for our great state.

In our time together, we have made the most of this unique opportunity to shape the future of Texas. I make this decision as a man forever moved by the people I’ve met, the sacrifices I’ve witnessed and the perseverance of the Texas spirit.

I will cherish specific moments in time, such as visiting shelters set up for the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, as Texas showed the nation we are a people rich with compassion.

I will always remember people like Heather Burcham, who touched my heart in the last few months she had left before she succumbed to cervical cancer.

I will think of the heroes we lost in the Texas sky when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry. I’ll continue to be moved by the day Wallace Jefferson took the oath of office as our first African-American Supreme Court Justice, the descendent of a man sold as a slave on the steps of a Central Texas Court House, who now is the chief justice of our highest civil court.

I will think of all the military heroes I have met over the years, individuals like Marcus Luttrell and Dan Moran, as well as the hundreds of families I have called who were grieving the loss of a loved one who died on the field of battle.

In moments of tragedy and triumph, I truly saw the best of what Texas has to offer. We are home to a unique people with limitless inspiration and perseverance.

To lead this state for the first part of the 21st Century has been nothing less than extraordinary. No other state can match what we’ve accomplished together. Today, Texas is the envy of the nation

I am looking forward…to the next 18 months, as I serve out my term. Any future considerations I will announce in due time, as I arrive at any decisions. But my focus will remain on Texas. Public service is a sacred trust. I am grateful for the privilege that Texans have allowed me. Until I leave this office, I will continue working hard to do what’s best for Texas.

That includes this special session, and additional sessions if needed, improving transportation infrastructure, passing juvenile justice reform, and protecting the right to life for the youngest and most vulnerable Texans. Texas is and will remain a strong pro-life, pro-family and pro-freedom state.

After January 2015, new chapters will be written, new leaders will help write them, but the focus must remain on the greatest state in the union, and opportunity for Her people. I want to close with the words of Peter Drucker, who said, “Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.” Our responsibility remains to the next generation of Texans, who will inherit a state of our making. We alone are responsible for the kind of Texas that will greet them.

It is my hope that tomorrow’s leaders build on our legacy of opportunity so Texans born into any circumstance can have a chance to experience the American Dream.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless this Texas we love.