Hutchison slams Texas GOP leadership

Dec. 12, 2008 at 12:21 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, says the Republican Party leadership in Texas is lacking and requires immediate change.

The senior U.S. senator from Texas said in an apparent blow to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, also a Republican, that top state GOP leaders have become polarizing and unresponsive, The Dallas Morning News said Friday.

Hutchison spokesman Todd Olsen also hinted at a possible governor's office run for the U.S. senator by comparing her with Perry.

"Governor Perry got 39 percent in the last election. It's a reason Texans want a change," Olsen said. "KBH is a Republican of conviction and Rick Perry is a Republican of convenience."

Perry supporters haven't blamed his party's woes in Texas on top state party officials, instead choosing to place the blame on Washington politicians, the Morning News reported.

Perry ally and former Texas Republican Chairman Tom Pauken said state Republicans should avoid any party advice from Washington.

"They've made a mess of things in Washington in the last eight years," he said. "Now they're going to come home to Texas and tell us how to fix the Republican Party in our state?"

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