There is reaction from campus, state lawmakers and Washington regarding A&M President Robert Gates being picked to head the Department of Defense. From Governor Rick Perry to Congressman Chet Edwards and Corps Commandant Lt. Gen. John Van Alstyne, there is praise for Gates and confidence that he's the right man for the job.
Governor Perry on Nomination of Gates as Secretary of Defense:
"As a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Robert Gates is uniquely qualified for this new challenge. Like tens of thousands of Aggies before him, Gates has answered the call to serve his country. We wish him well as he undertakes the enormous challenge overseeing the U.S. Armed Forces and the War on Terrorism, and we thank him for his service to Texas A&M University."
Chet Edwards Statement on Rumsfeld Resignation, Gates Nomination:
"I respect Secretary Rumsfeld's many years of service to our country. As President Bush said today, it is clear that the American people want Congress to work together in a bipartisan fashion on important issues such as Iraq, and I am committed to that effort. I have tremendous respect for Dr. Gates and have had an opportunity to work with him in my two years representing Texas A&M University. He is a strong leader with extensive experience in intelligence and world affairs. While Aggies are sad to see him go, we are grateful for his service to our great university and understand that this call to serve fulfills a vital responsibility for our nation and our servicemen and women."
Cornyn Statement on the nomination of Robert Gates:
"Robert Gates is an individual of the highest integrity who has once again put his own interests aside and answered the call of duty to serve his nation. America is engaged in a different kind of war against a faceless, ruthless enemy, and his experience as a former Director of the CIA makes him uniquely qualified to lead our effort to defeat those who threaten our nation and its people. While he will be missed at Texas A&M, I am hard pressed to think of a better qualified and more experienced individual to lead the Defense Department at such a critical time. As I told him by phone earlier this afternoon, he has my full support and I will work to ensure his confirmation in the Senate."
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John Van Alstyne, Texas A&M Corps Commandant comments on Gates:
"Dr. Bob Gates is one of the finest men I have ever known, and it has been an honor to serve with him at Texas A&M. Truly, he has moved us forward on many fronts, and his mark will remain on this institution for years to come. I am certain Dr. Gates would have preferred to continue his work here and institutionalize the many positive changes he has initiated. I know that only a call to serve his Nation at a very tough time could persuade him to leave us. That is the measure of the man, and we are proud that he is one of our own."
Statement from the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System in response to Texas A&M University President Dr. Robert Gates being nominated by President Bush as Secretary of Defense:
"On behalf of the Texas A&M System Board of Regents, we are honored that Dr. Gates has been selected by President Bush for this important responsibility. His departure will be a significant loss to the A&M System, but his duty to our country must prevail over his good work here. Dr. Gates has moved Texas A&M University to a higher level of excellence in education and research, and we are certain that he will serve our country with honor and distinction as our new Secretary of Defense. Pending Dr. Gates' Senate confirmation, the Board will move forward with a national search for his replacement." -- John D. White, Chairman, Texas A&M University System Board of Regents