George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following a Meeting With the New Leaders of the Republican National Committee

November 14, 2006

I have just been meeting with the new team that's going to run the Republican National Committee. I am so proud my friend Mel Martinez, Senator from Florida,is going to be the honorary [general]* chairman. My friend Mike Duncan from Kentucky is going to be the chairman. And Jo Ann Davidson is going to be the cochairman.

I want to thank you all very much for agreeing to serve our party. I do want to say that Ken Mehlman did a whale of a job as the chairman of the Republican Party. It's been a joy working with you. I appreciate the fact that you went to neighborhoods where Republicans have never been to talk to people about our message of ownership and hope. And I wish you all the very best.

One of the things I like to tell my friends about the Republican Party is that we're a party that really believes in entrepreneurship and small businesses and good-quality education and accountability. And Mel Martinez represents what I believe our party stands for, and that is, his parents put him on a plane to come to the United States from Cuba because they love freedom. That was Mel's first taste for the beauty of liberty and freedom. And he worked hard, started with little, and ended up being here, the United States Senator from Florida and the honorary chairman of our party. He's going to be an excellent spokesman for the Republican Party. He'll be a person who'll be able to carry our message as we go into an important year in 2008.

And Duncan has been involved with grassroots politics for a long period of time. He comes from a Democrat State that is now a Republican State because he understands that you win votes by organizing and turning out the vote. And of course, Jo Ann has been around our party for years. And she brings a lot of stability and a lot of common sense.

And so I do want to thank you three. I'm looking forward to working with you. I'm looking forward to reminding the people that we've got plans to keep the country secure and keep our prosperity strong. And once again, I want to thank you for your service.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:17 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

* White House correction.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Meeting With the New Leaders of the Republican National Committee Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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