TX US Sen. Hutchison's Floor Speech on the Death of Lloyd Bentsen - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

TX US Sen. Hutchison's Floor Speech on the Death of Lloyd Bentsen

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Below are Sen. Hutchison's remarks from her floor speech today on the passing of former Senator Lloyd Bentsen. This is a rough transcript. Also, at the end, she announced that she will introduce a Senate Resolution honoring his life:

"Today, we mourn the loss of a great Texan and a true American hero. Lloyd Bentsen passed away this morning, and I rise to pay tribute to the life and legacy of a great statesman.

"Senator Bentsen served this nation in numerous capacities. Many in this body came to know him well during his years as Texas Senator.

"Texas' first senator was Thomas Rusk, and his seat was later held with distinguished honor by Lloyd Bentsen.

"This is the same seat that that Texans have allowed me to serve. And I am honored to stand on the shoulders of these giants.

"Lloyd Bentsen was born in Mission, Texas in 1921. He attended public schools and graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1942. Upon graduation, he served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. He flew more than 200 bombing missions to liberate Europe from Nazi grasp.

"For his heroic service, he was awarded the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross for valor in combat. He retired with the rank of Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.

"After the war, Lloyd Bentsen returned home to his native Rio Grande Valley. There, he began his career as a public servant,

"As everyone who worked with him will attest, Lloyd Bentsen was a natural. His first office was as County Judge of Hidalgo Country.

"He was then elected to represent the Lone Star State in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1948, serving six years before leaving Congress to open a financial holdings company in Houston.

"In 1970, following a successful business career, Lloyd Bentsen was elected to the United States Senate.

"I have to say that that is when I really got to know Lloyd Bentsen a little bit because I was a cub news reporter at KPRC-TV in Houston, and I covered that race, and it was the battle of the titans.

"This was a race between George H.W. Bush and Lloyd Bentsen for the United States Senate seat in 1970. And I remember I and all the reporters saying at the time that this is what a Senate race should be. These are two high-quality individuals. They are the kind of people that you would want in public service, certainly the kind of people that you would want elected to public office. And Lloyd Bentsen won that race for the United States Senate. But George H.W. Bush also had an illustrious career to follow.

"Lloyd Bentsen stayed in the United States Senate and became a leader. He was here for 22 years. Everyone in Texas knew him, but he was a national figure.

"Lloyd Bentsen ran for President in 1976 and was the Democratic candidate for Vice President in 1988.

"Lloyd Bentsen's illustrious public career concluded with his service to the nation as Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton from 1993-1994.

"His contributions were properly recognized when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on August 11, 1999

"Later today we will introduce a resolution honoring the life and legacy of Lloyd Bentsen.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Beryl Ann, and the Bentsen family."