Before the primary, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said it was "premature" to talk with his colleague, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, about her repeated insistence that she will retire from the Senate after the debates over healthcare reform and cap and trade legislation have ended. Today, after her loss in the GOP gubernatorial primary, in a conference call with reporters, Cornyn said, "It’s no longer premature."
While Cornyn says he has been unable to connect with Hutchison on the phone yet, he plans on talking with her this afternoon — and he intends to ask her to reconsider. "I know that she's disappointed with the outcome of yesterday's primary election," Cornyn said, "but my hope is she would take her time and would consult with her friends and colleagues here in the United States Senate, her constituents in Texas, and make a decision that's in the best interest of the state, the best interest of her party, and in her best interest."
What is that exactly? Cornyn said, "My pitch to her is that I do think it's in the best interest of state, the best interest of the Republican Party, and in her best interest to stay in the Senate for a while. My hope would be she would consider staying throught the duration of her term."
Hutchison's term goes through 2012. If she left early, Gov. Rick Perry — the winner of last night's election — would appoint a replacement until a special election could be held to replace her. "Why go through that uncertainty?" Cornyn said. "Why go throught that expense? Why go through that when, if Sen. Hutchison just decided just to serve out the remainder of her term, then there would be an election for a new senator in 2012?"
Cornyn has also had trouble reaching Perry today, but he looks forward to speaking with him and said, "Obviously, I want him to be successful in November."