Fox News Channel "Fox and Friends" - Transcript
Fox News Channel "Fox and Friends" Interview With South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R)
Subject: South Carolina Supreme Court Decision on Stimulus Money for the State
Interviewer: Brian Kilmeade
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MR. KILMEADE: All right. It was part of a massive battle South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford took all the way -- took all the way to the Supreme Court, I should add.
He didn't want $700 million in federal stimulus money, but now by order of the state supreme court, he now must request it and, of course, use it.
Governor Sanford joins us now. He's the man who didn't want $700 million, because he knows the strings attached. He's in Charleston, South Carolina.
Governor, the court's making you take this money. Are you going to?
GOV. SANFORD: Yeah. We signed the paperwork yesterday. The court decision came down last week. We said we'd honor whatever the Supreme Court decided.
And I believe in balance of power. I believe in, you know, what the Founding Fathers intended in terms of break up power amongst different branches -- even if it's not configured that way in South Carolina.
And so we said whatever the Supreme Court decides we will live by that decision. They decided we had to do it and so we signed the paperwork yesterday and sent it.
MR. KILMEADE: So when you get your money --
GOV. SANFORD: I sent a letter. And the letter I sent to Arne Duncan -- the secretary of Education -- was filled with why I think this is a fundamentally flawed decision and one that will come to really harm South Carolinians, young and old, in the future.
MR. KILMEADE: Why would it harm, because it's $700 million? It's not a loan; you don't have to pay it back and South Carolina has needs. What do you mean it'll haunt you?
GOV. SANFORD: It'll haunt us at a couple of different levels. One, the giant stimulus debacle coming out of Washington, D.C., I think, will have haunting ramifications for all of us, because we're on the hook. Fifty cents of every dollar being spent in Washington this year is borrowed money and we are digging ourselves one heck of a hole at the federal level.
And what basically this stimulus money did was to export that financial recklessness to South Carolina, because in spending all this money, we will end up about $1 billion in the hole in just 24 months and so the question is, and then what? And nobody seems to have a plan for "and then what" part. So it's a real problem from the standpoint of financial recklessness.
It's also a problem from the standpoint of reforms not made. What's going to happen in South Carolina is a lot of reforms of taking money out of inefficient and wasteful programs and putting money into teachers or into the frontline of education in the classroom, instead of that happening, we're just going to paper over it with this huge windfall of federal money and I think, again, we'll be the poorer over the long run.
MR. KILMEADE: And we should be -- and the people of South Carolina and other states taking this money -- should be tightening their belts. Instead, we don't feel the pinch. We keep things going, but we're living a lie, because it's money we don't have. It's deficit spending.
Governor, what type of hit has your popularity taken, because a lot of people say, hey, Governor! We need the money. Let us have it!
GOV. SANFORD: I think it's some degree of hit. That goes with the territory. I mean, you know, any time you put $700 million in the middle of the table in the world of politics, the conventional wisdom is grab as much as you can, pull as much as you can to your corner and ask questions later.
But again, there are serious strings attached in this case. So a lot of reforms that would have made our state more competitive in producing jobs and providing better education in the long run aren't going to happen because, again, we are allowing ourselves to paper over those inefficiencies with this federal money.
MR. KILMEADE: One hundred and twenty days ago we were told we've got to have a stimulus package by the White House, because this country was running into -- going to hit a wall, a mountain -- the side of a mountain. Now we gave the money there, and only 44 billion (dollars) of the 770 billion (dollars) has been spent.
Does it surprise you? Why aren't we spending it? Spending should be easy.
GOV. SANFORD: It is, but not in the way that, again, government works.
Government was to work, by its very design, very, very slowly. And so a lot of the promises that were made upfront by the Obama administration and by different proponents of the stimulus money were false promises from the very start. They were false from the standpoint of how quickly the money would get out there. And they're frankly also false from the standpoint of jobs created.
Already -- just yesterday the Obama administration was backtracking on, basically, the number of jobs that were produced versus the number of jobs that were promised. You're going to see a lot of backtracking, I think, as we go down the road on this in what will not be delivered on the false promises really tied to the stimulus promise overall.
MR. KILMEADE: Well, Governor, you stuck to your guns. The court overruled you, but you never slipped on your principles.
Governor Mark Sanford, thanks for joining us and good luck spending your millions.
GOV. SANFORD: Yeah. I appreciate it.
MR. KILMEADE: All right, straight ahead.