A look back at when President George H.W. Bush visited Acadiana High School + historic CWS ties
Amanda McElfresh, Lafayette Daily Advertiser, Dec. 6, 2018
On Oct. 24, 1992, President George H.W. Bush made one of his final re-election campaign stops at Acadiana High School in Lafayette.
Just days later, Bush would lose his re-election bid to then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and running mate Al Gore.
In his speech and in talking with attendees, a transcript of Bush's appearance shows that he touted Louisiana's role in the oil and gas industry.
One attendee asked Bush how he liked Acadiana High and the area.
"I like it so far, a very compatible group and very friendly people," Bush responded. "And I would repeat, I used to have offices down here, our company, little companies down in Morgan City and Cameron and Ulma and indeed for Lafayette for a while. And so I feel comfortable and at home here."
Another attendee, identified in the transcript only as Butch, asked why there seemed to be more Clinton/Gore television ads running that ones supporting Bush's re-election. In his response, Bush again emphasized his attention to Louisiana.
"Louisiana is a priority," Bush said. "I must and I believe I will carry this state ... I don't know the number of ads that are being used, but we're not neglecting this key state. It's a battleground, and we've got to win it."
President George H.W. Bush visits Acadiana High School in October 1992. (Photo: Submitted photo)
President Bush was greeting by AHS Principal, Judy Cox.
Bush's visit came just two months after Hurricane Andrew damaged huge swaths of Louisiana. One attendee expressed his appreciation for Bush's help after the storm. The president thanked the attendee for those comments, but said others deserved credit as well.
"I think the federal government did respond. But in fairness, a lot of the local officials, some Democrat, some Republican, responded masterfully," Bush said. "And something else happened, something else happened in that hurricane. And I saw this community, the community responded. And sometimes it's what we call the Points of Light, one citizen helping another. So I think the congratulations should very well go to the people of the community."
It wasn't the last time Bush would make an appearance in Lafayette. In April 2006, he was the keynote speaker at Acadian Ambulance's annual paramedic luncheon.
Former President George H.W. Bush arrives at Lafayette Regional Airport on Friday 4/28/06. Here he shakes hands with George Cummings. Bush is in Lafayette to speak at the Paramedic Luncheon at the Cajundome Convention center. (Photo: Advertiser file photo)
Athletic Network Footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas: