Governor Perry addresses Comal County GOP

Urges support for War on Terror,

President Bush


By Richard Zowie

Times Guardian Staff Writer

Let's support our armed forces and work toward helping President George W. Bush get reelected, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in his keynote address at the Comal County Republican Party's "Salute to the American Armed Forces" 2004 Campaign Kick-off July 9 at the New Braunfels Civic Center.

In front of a packed auditorium, Governor Perry reflected on his own military career and encouraged attendees to continue to support both the War on Terror and the president.

"I can't think of a better place to be on a Friday night than to honor a bunch of veterans and current military folks in America today," he said. "When I see those young men and women here-soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines-I know that America is still the land of the free and home of heroes. While our constitution allows for voices of dissent and the right to question the policies of our president, let no one question the bravery of the men and women who have marched on forward."

Governor Perry told the crowd that for many years America treated terrorism as a "law enforcement matter" where the American government sought to convict conviction those who plotted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

"Occasionally we launched a cruise missile just to let [terrorists] know we were paying attention over there," the governor said. "September the 11th taught us that terrorism cannot be primarily be fought in the courts because terrorists recognize no international laws and, I might add, no human laws of decency."

The governor said America's defense shouldn't be left to the wishes or foreign leaders or international courts, but rather to the American president and congress. He credited President Bush with Al-Qaeda being on the run, the Taliban being out of power in Afghanistan and the capture of Hussein.

While Governor Perry said Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry should be acknowledged for his combat service in Vietnam, he urged the crowd to work toward helping President Bush get reelected.

"We must not change leadership in a time of turmoil," the governor said. "We must reelect a steady and tested leader."

Governor Perry concluded his remarks with a comment about former President Ronald Reagan. "Coming here tonight reminds me of why I liked Ronald Reagan so much," he said. "Seeing these veterans, these young men and women and the people in this room reminds me of what Reagan said: for America, there will be a bright dawn ahead."

The fundraising event featured a barbecue dinner and a silent auction. Event chairman Lisa Roper, who served as the Canyon Lake Republican Women's first vice president, said this was the first time in 10 years that the Comal County Republican Party has had a countywide fundraising event like this. The new laws and rules regarding campaign financing made such an event like this necessary since they had no funds for the county to open up a headquarters.

"This gives us money so we can get President Bush reelected," she said, adding that the local party will use the funds from the event to rent a house, run phone lines, acquire utilities and, in short, house a facility that will help the GOP be successful in November.

Roper said she thinks President Bush will win reelection in November.

"I don't see a problem with it," she said. "We live in Texas and this area of the country is strongly pro-Bush."

Roper, who travels around a lot in her work in public relations, added that what she's seen in her travels tells her that the GOP has a good chance of success in the upcoming elections.

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