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Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison on the fight against Obamacare, and how it’s affecting her decision to resign from the Senate and run for governor full-time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

HH: It’s the Texas week here on the Hugh Hewitt Show. I had Governor Rick Perry on Tuesday, but scrupulous neutrality in the race for governor down there, I’m pleased to welcome Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to the program now. Senator, welcome, it’s great to see you. I last saw you at the big Stop the Obamacare Bill rally in D.C. Are we making any progress on that front?

KBH: Oh, my goodness, Hugh, I’m very concerned about it, to be honest with you. It’s just such a flawed strategy to take over one-sixth of our economy, and the health care plan that is really trying to fix 15% of the population, but we’re tearing down 85% of the people who like what they have. And I’m very concerned about it, I have to tell you, but we’re going to do everything we can to stop it.

HH: Now Senator, it’s going to take some votes of your colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle to stop cloture here. I’ve been talking about it all day. Do you think there are at least two, three of them that will slow this down so that we can at least read the bill?

KBH: I am hoping that because a number of the Democrats wrote a letter to Harry Reid saying that they want 72 hours after there has been a full bill, the written bill, the real bill, on the internet for the whole public to see. So I thought that was a good sign, because we still don’t have a real bill, you know.

HH: Right.

KBH: We’re amending a concept, and that’s not right. It’s too important and affects too many lives. And of course, when you start getting bill language, that’s when it becomes just even more important to know the effects of all of the things that are happening here. So the Democrats did sign a letter, many of them, and I think that will slow the bill down enough that people can read it, and start saying okay, what does this mean, how is this going to work, how does it dovetail in with the plans that we have intact right now. Those are the things that we all must push to get out in the open. And then I know that the general public is going to help us with the right questions, and the right evidence about the effects of this giant takeover of our health care system.

HH: And we hope they do. Senator, there’s also the huge gun case in the United States Supreme Court. You’ve been a big advocate for 2nd Amendment rights. Are you pleased that case is going up? Or are you worried about it?

KBH: I’m very pleased, because I think the sooner we can get this settled, the better. We still have the five members who voted for the Heller case, which established once and for all that this is an individual right of every person to have firearms to protect themselves and their family. It has been argued for years by gun control advocates that this isn’t an individual right, it’s a collective right, only for a militia. Well, that’s wrong, we’ve always believed that was wrong. Now the Supreme Court has said it’s wrong. But some of the circuits have said but that doesn’t mean that states and local governments can’t infringe on this right. So now we have to go the next step and assure that not only the federal government cannot infringe on the right, but neither can a state or local ordinance take away that very basic right to own a firearm.

HH: Now Senator Hutchison, I had Governor Perry on Tuesday talking about tort reform and the race down in Texas. How do you see this race in Texas, what’s this going to…you’re both great conservatives. How’s this going to be decided by conservative voters?

KBH: Well, I am going to make the case that if we want conservative government in Texas, that I’m the right nominee. Governor Perry got 39% of the vote in 2006. I’m very worried, because we are two away from losing the Texas House of Representatives, that the demise of the Republican Party is going to occur, and we’re going to lose to the Democrats. Texas has been a model in many respects. We are a no income tax state, we are a right to work state. These are things that have been in our system for years and years, way before Rick Perry was governor. These are good. But if we start losing the Republican conservative majority in government, I fear that we’re going to start seeing an erosion of the good principles and the pro-business environment that we have in Texas. So that’s the choice I think, conservatives have. Do we want to keep winning? Or do we want to keep losing, which is what we’ve been doing for the last six years.

HH: 30 seconds, Senator, do you have a date yet when you’re going to resign the Senate and go back and campaign full time in Texas?

KBH: You know, honestly, Hugh, I’d hoped to be gone by now, because I want to make the case for a conservative for the state government. But I can’t leave with this health care debate. It’s too important, it affects too many lives. So that’s why I’ve not been able to say exactly when I will leave. I do plan to resign, I want to come home and make the case full time. I don’t want Texas to have a part-time Senator, but I’m in a position now of not knowing exactly when the health care is going to come, and that’s why I haven’t been able to set that exact date.

HH: Senator Hutchison, I look forward to talking to you again soon on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

End of interview.

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