Gov. Beebe tells chamber crowd credit for state gains should be shared

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 95 views 

In what he dubbed as his “goodbye tour,” Gov. Mike Beebe made his final remarks to the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce – the state’s largest business lobby.

Beebe, who said that every appearance to annual events such as the chamber’s annual meeting is “nostalgic,” said he shouldn’t receive all the credit for the positive things that materialized in his administration.

“The things I get credit for are accomplishments that are shared and should be shared by so many,” Beebe told an audience of nearly 450 at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock.

Beebe praised business leaders, the Arkansas legislature, educators and state employees fro their diligence in advancing issues regarding education and economic development.

“When Arkansas looks back on the last eight years and the obstacles we’ve overcome, the accomplishments we’ve achieved, the accolades we’ve received, it should be a matter of pride for all of you,” he said.

Beebe said he wasn’t going to make any new pronouncements during the speech, but he noted how much he will miss the office he’s held for the last two terms.

“I will miss the most the constant contact with people,” Beebe said. “I had to come mainly to say what a labor of love the last eight years have been. … If I live to be 120, I’ll never be able to repay Arkansas and her people for the opportunities that Ginger and I have had.”

He also encouraged the business leadership group to work with Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson and to continue to operate in a bipartisan spirit.

“We’ve done all this stuff together. I hope you’ll continue to work together moving forward,” he said.

Stephen Moore, chief economist at The Heritage Foundation and former editorialist with The Wall Street Journal, described himself as a conservative Republican, but he said Beebe would be “great” if he ran for President.

“We need more pro-business, common sense Democrats in Washington,” Moore said. Beebe has said repeatedly he has no interest in running for office after his term as Governor ends in January.

Moore spent the bulk of his remarks talking about ideas for moving the U.S. economy forward.

“We need to get the government to stay out of the way,” said Moore, a former aide to President Ronald Reagan.

Moore said that the GOP gains from last Tuesday’s elections should lead to positive developments for the economy. He predicted that the Keystone XL pipeline project and other pro-energy policies would move forward and he suggested there may be reforms to corporate taxes.