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Public Statements

Fox News "Fox & Friends" - Transcript

Interview

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Fox News "Fox & Friends" - Transcript

MR. DOOCY: Joining us right now, we have got a couple of people who are very influential on both sides: Minnesota Governor and McCain supporter, Tim Pawlenty, joins us live from Minneapolis. He's screen right.

But right now, let's go screen left, Missouri senator and a Barack Obama supporter, Claire McCaskill. She's live in my old hometown of Kansas City.

Good morning to you, Senator.

SEN. MCCASKILL: Good morning.

MR. DOOCY: Okay, so Barack Obama said in this interview -- that for some odd reason is just now being released in the last day or so, Senator -- that if somebody's going to build a coal-fired plant, a coal plant, through these tariffs and taxes and caps and stuff like that, they would essentially bankrupt that company.

And there are a lot of people who are in coal-producing states that also use a lot of coal as well like Ohio and Pennsylvania and West Virginia. And as they hear that news this morning, they might be worried: Wow, is that going to impact me?

SEN. MCCASKILL: Well, first of all, this is an issue that Barack Obama and John McCain agree on.

He's referencing -- you're taking that quote out of context. And what he's referencing is the need for clean-coal technology, which both candidates support. We're going to have coal. We have to have coal, but we have to have clean coal. And they both support cap-in- trade legislation. They both support the concept of doing something about greenhouse warming.

And that's what he was referring to that in the future, if we get to the point where we have cap-in-trade, if you're going to try to build a plant where you're not doing clean-coal technology, it's going to be expensive. And this is one where --

MR. KILMEADE: (Inaudible.)

SEN. MCCASKILL: I beg your pardon?

MR. KILMEADE: Why didn't he say that then?

SEN. MCCASKILL: Well, I think if you took the whole interview, you would certainly understand that's what he was saying.

Well, you know what's happening at the end here? There's a little bit of desperation going on. Let's find something he said, slice it and dice it; distort it and try to scare people.

It's not working! People want change.

MS. CARLSON: Well, one of the things, Senator McCaskill, that his running mate, Joe Biden, said that wasn't sliced and diced -- because it was right on tape -- was during the debate with Sarah Palin, he said that he was in favor of clean-coal production. But then, just a few days later he was on the campaign trail and he told a constituent that there was no way he'd be in favor of that.

So would you go on the record as saying that Biden and Obama disagree on this issue?

SEN. MCCASKILL: First of all, once again, it was a rope line. Once again, it was a snippet of a conversation.

Let me just say it very plainly: This ticket, the Democratic ticket, supports clean-coal technology. We support clean coal and that's what we're going to have in this country, regardless of who's selected as president, because both candidates agree on it.

MR. DOOCY: Okay, but nonetheless, if you live in one of those states, clean coal is expensive and you will wind up -- clean coal is great for the environment, but you do end up passing along higher prices to the consumer, you know, when you're talking about costs of a cap-in-trade policy.

And so you're -- in addition to him saying "bankrupt" -- you're also talking about -- and you say it's on both sides -- you are talking about higher costs to the consumer.

SEN. MCCASKILL: Listen, I understand that. And if there are people in those states that don't believe that we need to do something to address this issue in the future, then maybe Bob Barr is who they should vote for, because John McCain --

MR. DOOCY: Are you endorsing him? (Laughter.)

SEN. MCCASKILL: I am not endorsing him! I am saying that John McCain and Barack Obama agree on clean-coal technology. There is not a difference between the candidates on that issue. The only candidate on the ballot that has a different opinion than John McCain and Barack Obama is, in fact, Bob Barr.

MS. CARLSON: Senator, I want to go back to the rope line issue, because I do feel like what the candidates say on the rope line is important.

Specifically, look what happened when Joe the Plumber was on the rope line. I mean, that changed, many would argue, the whole way that this election was looking at that time when Barack Obama talked about spreading the wealth.

So was that rope line comment, then, sliced and diced or somehow not important?

SEN. MCCASKILL: Well, you know, I think Sarah Palin had a rope line moment at one point. And you that was, oh, no, no. She didn't mean that. She didn't mean that. She was in a rope line.

You know, these candidates are under the microscope. I think America has taken their measure of these two candidates and here's what they're looking for. They're looking for change, an economic policy that's different than the current philosophy.

And by the way, to this day, John McCain cannot say how his economic policies are different George Bush's, other than he talks about spending. But in terms of who's going to get the tax cuts, he's identical! He's going to do the same thing Bush did.

MR. KILMEADE: Well, no one understands --

SEN. MCCASKILL: And we know what that's done for us!

MR. KILMEADE: But no one understands -- we're getting thousands of e-mails -- no one understands where the cap is for Barack Obama. I mean, you have Governor Richardson saying it's 120 (,000 dollars) --

SEN. MCCASKILL: No, no.

MR. KILMEADE: You have Senator Biden say it's 150(,000 dollars). You have Senator Obama saying it's 200 (,000 dollars), then it's 250 (,000 dollars).

SEN. MCCASKILL: Let me clear that up.

MR. KILMEADE: This is in the last two weeks!

SEN. MCCASKILL: Let me clear that up. The line of demarcation is 250,000 (dollars), period! No one will have their taxes increased of any kind of their net personal income -- not their business gross income -- their net personal income is 250 (,000 dollars) or less.

What Joe Biden was talking about and what Richardson was talking about is where the bulk of the tax cuts will come. You're not going to have your taxes raised, but you're going to have your taxes cut at 150 (,000 dollars) or less.

That's what it was. It wasn't changing the number.

MR. DOOCY: So Senator, just out of curiosity, if you are one of the America's most successful people and under a Barack Obama administration, your taxes are going to go up, how much?

SEN. MCCASKILL: Your taxes are going to go up no more than they ever were under either Clinton or Ronald Reagan.

MR. DOOCY: Which is -- what's that number?

SEN. MCCASKILL: Well, it depends on which tax you're talking about. If you're talking about income taxes or capital gains taxes --

MR. DOOCY: Let's talk income tax.

SEN. MCCASKILL: Income tax -- it will go up several percentage points.

MR. DOOCY: To?

SEN. MCCASKILL: I can't remember what the number is right here. I think it's 34, 35.

MR. DOOCY: Thirty-nine -- I don't know for sure either. All right, so it's going to go up a couple of percentage points.

SEN. MCCASKILL: It's going to go up no more than it was under Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton.

You know what, you know, wealthy people did very well under Bill Clinton. We also balanced the budget. We also got a surplus and we also created jobs.

I think it was pretty -- I think people look back on those years, especially people in the middle, look back on those years with some affection.

MR. KILMEADE: Well, Senator Kyl said maybe the Bush tax cuts kept this economic catastrophe at bay for seven-and-a-half years.

SEN. MCCASKILL: I think that's the only thing he can say. The bottom line is, we've lost millions of jobs under George Bush. The trickle down didn't work. The only thing that happened with George Bush's trickle down theory, John McCain's trickle down theory, is that jobs went overseas.

MS. CARLSON: But we don't want to forget --

SEN. MCCASKILL: -- the middle of America.

MS. CARLSON: Well, Democrats have been in charge of Congress for the last two years. That's an important point also to bring out.

Senator Claire McCaskill, great to talk with you this morning; we do have to get to the other side.

And for that, we go to Governor Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota's governor, and of course a McCain supporter.

All right, Governor, you hear Claire McCaskill speaking about her support of Barack Obama.

Let's go back -- let's start with the tax issue, why don't we, because that's what she was talking about.

One thing that she does not mention, and Barack Obama does not mention either, is the fact that amongst his tax cuts for what he says is 95 percent of Americans, 40 percent of those are going to get a handout, right?

GOV. PAWLENTY: Yeah, that's exactly right.

And by the way, Gretchen, here in Minnesota, we're very proud of the fact that "High School Musical 3" is loosely based on your high school story. So I'm glad to see that's doing well at the box office, as you were talking about.

As to the tax issue -- as to the tax issue, you have a situation where 40 percent of the Americans do not pay taxes, so if you give them a tax break, you're creating an entitlement program or welfare program. And as we try to constrain entitlement programs and federal spending, that's a concern to a lot of Americans.

But Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on income, capital gains, dividends, payroll, health insurance, other forms of investment at a time when we're in a recession and we're trying to grow jobs. That's the exact wrong direction for this country.

MR. DOOCY: All right. And we're seeing a bunch of numbers -- I'm pointing to a higher tax rate for the most successful people in America.

Governor, let me ask you about a comment Barack Obama made a couple of days ago when he said -- regarding those people who are at the higher end of the economic food chain -- you know, if you don't want to pay higher taxes, you're just selfish.

GOV. PAWLENTY: Yeah. You know, or Joe Biden saying it's patriotic to pay higher taxes.

But you know, no thinking economist in a recession would say it's a good idea to raise taxes. And Barack Obama not only wants to raise taxes, but he's got this whole energy plan that you were talking about earlier. And by the way, he seems to say things interestingly in San Francisco when he doesn't think he's in public in fundraisers or on the rope line that are very different than what he says in public.

And here he's talking about an energy plan that will cause, in his words, people's energy bills to skyrocket.

MS. CARLSON: Yeah. I thought that was an interesting spin, because you know, you've got to watch out what you're saying at every moment when you're a political candidate, I would guess. According to Senator McCaskill with that Biden comment about clean coal, he didn't really mean that -- what he said on the rope line -- which completely contradicted what he said during the debate.

GOV. PAWLENTY: And by the way, Gretchen, Senator McCaskill did not tell the whole story. Everybody supports clean coal, but what we're talking about is a cap-in-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions. John McCain's plan in that regard is very different than Barack Obama's. They are not the same, so that is not a fair or accurate statement.

MR. KILMEADE: Governor, talk about the impact -- I know you talked about it a little last night on the late night show -- but talk about the impact of how coal resonates in places like West Virginia, in places like Pennsylvania, in places like Ohio. When someone says they're going to open a coal plant and they'll be bankrupt -- and those are Barack Obama's own words caught on tape!

GOV. PAWLENTY: Well, those are coal states, but they're also swing states. But beyond just the politics of those coal states, here are some interesting facts: We have a 250-year supply of coal in our country. It's American coal, so we don't have to rely on Ahmadinejad or Chavez or Putin to supply it to us, so it helps us with independence. If we can make it clean, it actually is a viable source of base-load energy for the future.

Fifty percent of the energy in this country -- base load -- comes from coal; about 20 or 25 percent comes from nuclear. And Barack Obama says "no" to both of those things. It doesn't leave much left and his comments that energy prices would skyrocket under his plan becomes a real reality.

MR. DOOCY: A couple of weeks ago the conventional wisdom, Governor, was that your state would wind up being a blue state. And I'm looking at some of the news sources today, and it looks as if -- according to people inside the McCain camp -- apparently they are about tied in Minnesota?

GOV. PAWLENTY: A very interesting development last night, Steve. Of course, Minnesota has been essentially written off by many as being for Obama heavily. But last night's Survey USA, which called my race in 2006 more closely than any other polling organization, has the race 49-46 -- Obama-McCain -- that's three points. It's within the margin of error. A very interesting development announced last night in Minnesota.

MS. CARLSON: Do you think that's --

MR. DOOCY: Who shifted? Who's moving?

GOV. PAWLENTY: Well, according to that poll, you're seeing the independents break and some of the soft Obama people coming back to Senator McCain. But if that's an accurate poll, it's a major development.

MS. CARLSON: But let me ask you this, Governor: Is it the microcosm, because Minnesota has been known to have a few whacky political moments -- (laughs). Is it the microcosm of what you think is happening on the national scene?

GOV. PAWLENTY: Were you talking about my elections when you said that? (Laughter.)

MS. CARLSON: No! You know -- you know, Governor Ventura, things like that -- Jesse the Body.

GOV. PAWLENTY: Well, Minnesotans are very proud of their independence and their ticket splitters. We have a higher percentage of independents, ticket splitters and swing voters here than most other parts of the country. So Minnesotans are fiercely independent.

I think you're seeing that break potentially back towards Senator McCain with that polling data.

MR. KILMEADE: Governor Pawlenty, always great to talk to you. I know you've been utilized quite well here in the final hours of this campaign. Thanks for joining us, Governor.

Thanks for the last two years, actually, of telling us what's happening out there on the campaign trail.

GOV. PAWLENTY: Happy to do it. Thanks for having me.


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