Fox News Channel "Your World" - Transcript
Fox News Channel "Your World" Interview With Texas Governor Rick Perry
Interviewer: Neil Cavuto
Subject: Governor Sanford Affair; GOP Brand Suffering
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MR. CAVUTO: Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, joins us right now. Governor, thank you for coming.
GOV. PERRY: Hello, Neil. How are you?
MR. CAVUTO: I'm fine, sir. So many things to talk to you about. One is what happened to your colleague, and I know a friend, Governor Sanford. It was not long ago when I had both of you on the show, and we were talking about budget excesses in Washington, spending like crazy in Washington. And a lot of people wrote me after your joint appearance, as they do when you appear alone, boy, those are some Republican stars there. Are we down one less star now?
GOV. PERRY: Well, I think that's probably correct. You know, I think our heart goes out to Jenny and the boys. And Mark made a monumental mistake, and he's got to go back to them and get his life right and go back to the people of South Carolina and, frankly, the people across this country that admired him for his strong fiscal stance. But he's got to get his personal life right. And that's between him and his family and, you know, our prayers go out for them and for him, frankly, as he tries to make amends for, as I said earlier, a monumental mistake in his life.
MR. CAVUTO: You don't try to draw too different cases together, Governor. I'm sure you've been asked this question. But in light of Nevada Senator Ensign's own marital problems and then this, two rising stars in the party, two opposing voices to Democrats and spending, at the very least silenced for a while. Are you worried Republicans are kind of losing their umph here?
GOV. PERRY: Well, we had two very capable individuals who made major mistakes in their personal life. But I can assure you one thing. There won't be silence from Rick Perry or Bobby Jindal or Haley Barbour or Sonny Perdue or other Republicans that believe in strict fiscal conservatism. And you know, our states are pretty good examples of what's going on when you put that type of principled conservative leadership in place. I know Bobby, although Bobby's team outscored the University of Texas Longhorns in baseball and won the national championship, and congratulations to him for that.
But the fact of the matter is we compete every day, not just on a baseball field or a football field, but we compete in that arena of economics. And that's why our states are strong, I think, is because we've had disciplined, principled approaches to our economic needs. And it's the reason about 1,000 people a day continue to move to the state of Texas. They know they can come here, Neil, and they can risk their capital and have a good chance to have a return on the investment. Those voices are going to continue to stand up against this administration.
MR. CAVUTO: I understand, and you've been leading that, Governor Sanford is leading that. But now, he has become the butt of jokes, not the least of which from Senator John Kerry, who even drew Governor Palin into this. This is from last night, Governor. He said that, "Too bad if a governor had to go missing. It couldn't have been the governor of Alaska, you know, Sarah Palin." They all laughed at that. What did you think of that?
GOV. PERRY: Yeah. That's not the type of mature leadership I'm looking for. But you know, it's what we've come to expect from some in Washington, D.C. But the fact is, that's just a rank political joke that needs to be put over in the trash where it deserves.
MR. CAVUTO: All right. Now, here you are, one of the few states, one of the few governors running a surplus. You did it through spending cuts. You did it without tax hikes. You have a good case. But Republicans generally, across the country, are on defense. How do you propose they get back on offense? Because polls seem to show, at least Republicans in Congress, are held in lower regard than TV anchors, if that is possible.
GOV. PERRY: (Laughs.) Well, Washington has got its problems. It doesn't make a difference whether you're a Democrat or Republican.
MR. CAVUTO: Well, this president is pretty popular.
GOV. PERRY: Well, you know, his policies aren't, though, and that's where we draw the line. And I think it's appropriate where you draw the line, you know. The man is a popular individual, but his policies aren't. That's where we focus. And this isn't -- a popularity contest is not what I want as the president of the United States. I want a man who is right on the issues. I want somebody who is taking this country forward.
And whether it's cap and trade, which I will suggest is going to be a huge tax on every person in this country, the idea that somehow or other we're only going to get the rich, no, sir. You're going to get everybody that uses electricity. You're going to get everybody that buys a gallon of gasoline. Cap and trade, biggest debacle that this country could go into. This is this president's policies.
So I don't get confused about the man. He's popular, but his policies are not popular. And that's where the Republican Party, and particularly Republican leadership, needs to stay focused, is talking about policies. We've done it in the state of Texas. I think we are a great example of how competition, how having fiscal policies that are very conservative in their applications do make for a strong economy. It is pretty hard to argue.
I'll bet you there's 49 other governors that would love to have the economy that we've got in the state of Texas. We just finished a session where we balanced our budget, let $9 billion in our rainy-day fund. We were able to cut taxes for 40,000 additional small businesses. Now, tell me a place in America, with a recession going on of this size, and they're cutting taxes on income.
MR. CAVUTO: Sounds like that's a great pitch to run for president.
GOV. PERRY: (Laughs.) I'm running for governor, Neil. That's the greatest job in America.
MR. CAVUTO: All right. All right. They all say that until they do run for president. Governor, it's very good having you. Thank you very much.