It's hard not to be ashamed of our senior Senator and Governor after tonight's debate. I'm glad to see that Democratic candidate for Governor Bill White is already offering a compelling, positive, pro-active response to what we saw from the debate at UNT tonight.
Here's the official statement from Bill White, emphasis mine:
Governor Perry claimed: “I promised I would do everything I could to make this a state where people are proud to live and I think we've done that.” I was proud to be a Texan before he was Governor and many of us will be more proud of our state when he's gone. We don't need a Governor who takes credit for all that is good about Texans. His attitude just shows that Perry has been in office too long.
I agree with Senator Hutchison that Texas future is at risk because we are failing to educate so many Texans. Dropout rates are among the highest in the nation and college tuition has been skyrocketing. Education is the biggest job of state government and the largest part of the state's budget. Education is an engine of economic growth and opportunity. How we invest in kids now will determine our economic future. And yet, in a one hour debate, Governor Perry never accepted accountability for the failures of public education or described how we could improve it and bring down skyrocketing college tuition rates. Our state deserves better than that.
Much of the debate consisted of complaints about the federal government, rather than solutions for Texas. I agree with some comments about federal intrusion, but under the Constitution the Governor of Texas does not control the federal government. Under Governor Perry, the State of Texas has time and time again imposed mandates on cities and counties, and as Governor that is something I'd stop.
This week, Perry refused to even compete for $700,000,000 in federal funds for our public schools. With 1,100 school districts in Texas that are strapped for cash, that's just shameful.
Texas can–and MUST–do better.
However, perhaps the lines of the night came from Senator Kirk Watson on Twitter: