Published August 29, 2012
The following is a transcript of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's speech at the Republican National Convention on Aug. 29, 2012.
MARTINEZ: Thank you. And good evening.
Before I begin tonight, let's keep in our prayers that
families impacted by the storm affecting the Gulf coast. If you
haven't done so already, please donate to the Red Cross. To
find out more about how you can help those affected by hurricane
Isaac, please visit redcross.org/give. I am Susana Martinez.
On behalf of the great state of New Mexico, let me express my
gratitude for being invited to speak tonight.
Growing up I never imagined a little girl from a border
town could one day become a governor. But this is America. In
America algo es possible.
My parents taught me to never give up and to always believe
that my future could be whatever I dreamt it to be. Success,
they taught me is built on the foundation of courage, hard work
and individual responsibility. Despite what some would have us
believe, success is not built on resentment and fear.
We grew up on the border and truly lived paycheck to
paycheck. My dad was a golden gloves boxer in the Marine Corps,
then a deputy sheriff. My mom worked as an office assistant.
One day they decided to start a security guard business. I
thought they were absolutely crazy. We literally had no
savings. But they always believed in the American dream.
So, my dad worked to grow the business. My mom did the
books at night. And at 18, I guarded the parking lot at the
Catholic church bingos.
Now my dad made sure I could take care of myself. I
carried a Smith and Wesson 357 magnum.
Yes, that gun weighed more than I did. My parents grew
that small business from one 18-year-old guarding a bingo to
more than 125 employees in three states.
And sure, there was help along the way. But my parents
took the risk. They stood up. And you better believe they
My parents also taught me about having the courage to stand
for something. So I went to law school. And I became a
prosecutor. I took on a -- a specialty that very few choose to
pursue. I prosecuted child abuse and child homicide cases.
Cases that were truly gut-wrenching. But
standing up for those kids, being their voice for justice was
the honor of a lifetime.
Sometimes you pay a price for standing up. When I was a
young prosecutor, I got called to testify against my boss. I
could have backed down, but I didn't. I stood up to him and he
fired me for it. So, I took him on, ran against him for district
attorney, and beat him by a landslide.
I fear some of our leaders today have lost the courage to
stand up. What we have now are politicians. They won't offer
real plans, and only stand up when they want to blame someone
And I don't say that just because a Democrat is in the
White House, I was a Democrat for many years, so were my
Before I ran for district attorney, two Republicans invited
my husband and me to lunch, and I knew a party switch was
exactly what they wanted. So, I told Chuck, ``We'll be polite,
enjoy a free lunch, and then say good-bye.'' But we talked about
issues -- they never used the words Republican or Democrat,
conservative or liberal. We talked about many issues, like
welfare, is it the way of life or hand up? Talked about size of
government, how much should it tax families and small
businesses? And when we left that lunch, we got in the car and
I looked over at Chuck and said, ``I'll be damned. we're
This election should not be about political parties. To
many Americans are out of work, and our debt is out of control.
This election needs to be about those issues and it is the
responsibility of both parties to offer up real solutions and
have an honest debate.
In New Mexico, I inherited the largest structural deficit
in state history, and our legislature is controlled by Democrats
. We don't always agree, but we came together in a bipartisan
manner and turned that deficit into a surplus.
And we did it without raising taxes.
But that is not the kind of leadership that we are seeing
from President Obama. He promised to bring us all together, to
cut unemployment, to pass immigration reform in his first year,
and even promised to cut the deficit in half, in his first term.
Do you remember that? But he hasn't come close. They have not
even passed a budget in Washington, D.C. In 3 years.
If he can take credit for government buildings small
businesses, then he can accept responsibility for breaking his
promise and adding $5 trillion to the national debt. Because he
did build that.
As the first Hispanic female governor in the history,
little girls often come up to me in the grocery store or in the
mall. They look and they point and when they get the courage to
come up, they ask, ``Are you Susana?'', and they run up and they
give me a hug. I wonder, how do you know who I am? But they
do. And these are little girls. It is in moments like these
when I'm reminded that we each pave for a path, and for me, it
is about paving a path for those little girls to follow. They
need to know no more barriers.
In many ways, Mitt Romney and I are very different.
Different starts in life, different paths to leadership,
different cultures, but we've each shared in the promise of
America. And we share a core belief that the promise of America
must be kept for the next generation.
It is success and success is the American dream, and that
success is not something to be ashamed of or to demonize. There
is one candidate in this election who will protect that dream.
One leader who will fight hard to keep the promise of America
for the next generation. And that's why we must stand up and
make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States. Thank