Transcript of Gov. Tom Ridge's Convention Speech

ByABC News
August 3, 2000, 8:11 PM

Aug. 3 -- Pa. Gov. Tom Ridge, host governor of the event, told the Republican National Convention about his longtime friendship with George W. Bush.

Gov. Tom Ridge:

What better place to renew Americas purpose than the cradle of American democracy Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!

The first time our party met was in Philadelphia, in 1856. It was our partys first national convention. One of our rising stars: a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln. We were a party with a purpose: to tackle tough issuesto unite a divided nation.

Over the past four days, America has seen we are still a party with a purpose: resolved once again to tackle tough issues to unite all Americans. Tonight we nominate the man to do it: Governor George W. Bush.

George and I met 20 years ago. I know him pretty well. He has a great record in Texas. He has a clear vision for America. And a compassionate conservative message.But tonight I just want to talk about my friend.

For George, family is first. It is reflected in his public service and his private life.If you look closely, youll see in George the very best qualities of both his mom and dad.

Then again, arent we all blessed to have President and Mrs. Bush in our lives!

His faith is important to him. George believes faith is important to America.And he wants us to use our faith all faiths to accomplish good things.

You see, this is someone for whom public service is a callingnot a career. George doesnt look to a focus-group printout to discover his convictions. He looks to his heart.

How many of you have seen George in a classroom? Or heard him talk about kids? The passion in his voice; the love in his heart? Ive seen it. And Ill tell you this: when the voters of America see it this election is over!

I wish you could have been there, when we met with Latino leaders at Nueva Esperanza, here in Philadelphia. There were no reporters in the room. And I suspect very few Republicans! But that didnt matter to George. No pandering honest discussion and yes, some honest disagreement.