Lady Laura Bush and Mrs. Cindy McCain
Republican National Convention
St. Paul, MN
Monday, September 1, 2008
[applause] FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH: ...Thank
you so much for the warm welcome. I'm so happy to be here with
you in Minneapolis-St. Paul for the Republican Convention while we
nominate Sen. John McCain and Gov. 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 in 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 are 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
today--they all also happen to be Republicans. [applause]
But we know it is far more important that they 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.
So, please listen to these important messages from these four great governors.
Let’s listen to see what they have to say.
[Video remarks from Gulf State governors: Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Bob Riley, Gov. Charlie Crist, Gov. Haley Barbour]
MRS. CINDY McCAIN: I am so proud to be standing next to Mrs. Bush 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.
In that spirit, we’d like to ask that you go to a website called "Cause Greater" – or www.causegreater.com. 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 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]
FIRST LADY LAURA 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 us work together to provide
those affected with the means to restore and rebuild their communities.
MRS. CINDY 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.
FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH:
Thank you all and God bless you.