NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": All right, to Michigan, where the presidential race is tightening. That's right, Michigan, over the past month, Governor Romney closing what had been a double-digit gap in the state.
Anything to do with the man who is running that state? Right now to Republican Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Governor, it's good to have you back.
I always find it remarkable, because whether you agree with the bailout or not, you would think the knee-jerk reaction is that those in your state would be very sore about Mitt Romney's opposition to that auto bailout, yet he seems to be faring OK. Why is that?
GOV. RICK SNYDER, R-MICH.: Well, if you think about it, Neil, the auto bailout I think is overblown in terms of how big an issue it has become.
And I have said that from the start. The citizens of Michigan, their main concern is more and better jobs today and in the future. And that is what they want to hear about. So, the auto bailout is something that was done. It is over with. It worked. Let's move forward. And again when I do town halls across Michigan -- and I do those on a regular basis -- I don't get any questions about the auto bailout.
They want to hear about more and better jobs, and Governor Romney has a plan to do that.
CAVUTO: Do you think a lot of them are chafing a little bit that they thought things would have been rosier post the bailout and now they are finding out the hard way that the way it was originally sold, that plants wouldn't shut down, jobs wouldn't be lost, it was really a taxpayer-funded bankruptcy where plants were shut down and people did lose their jobs and they are still burned?
SNYDER: Well, again I don't think if you look at -- I don't think there is a lot of continuing focus on the whole bailout as a topic.
As I have -- I have told people is, the only time I get a question of the bailout is from the national media.
CAVUTO: Yes, when you're on shows like mine, right?
SNYDER: Well, the citizens here, who I view as my customer, they want to hear about, tell me about what you are doing do create a better environment to create jobs, because, government's role of government is not to create jobs. It's to create an environment for jobs to flourish.
And we need to solve that. There is too much of a -- Washington is a mess. Look at the budget, the deficit, the need to pay down tax -- the liabilities and then the whole question about tax reform.
CAVUTO: I'm sorry, sir
CAVUTO: I do want to get into the particulars, but before I do one last general thing. We have a new poll out in the swing states in general, and Mitt Romney does appear to be gaining ground, this impact, whatever happened in the first debate, has grown, it hasn't shrunk, he has extended that lead to five points vs. the president.
The particulars in Michigan do not hit me right now, but what do you think is going on, and whether this is a delayed impact, continued impact from the first debate or frustration with the president? What is it?
SNYDER: Well, I think it's actually the debate made a major difference in terms of kind of swinging momentum. And that has added a positive impact for Governor Romney and the whole campaign.
The other one is I think there is more focus now on talking about his program and looking towards the future because the question isn't looking back in history and time all the time, but really looking forward to say, what is the solution to the serious problems we have in Washington? How do we move forward?
I think he is becoming more and more outspoken about those issues.
CAVUTO: You have also tried to say I will not be unilateral about this. I want you, the voters here in my state, to go along with me to help me and make some of these changes.
One is a proposal to amend the constitution regarding collective bargaining, with some have interpreted to be a kinder, gentler approach from, let's say, Wisconsin, where critics of Governor Scott Walker say he rammed it down people's threats. He would argue with that.
But what is this all about?
SNYDER: Well, it's an effort by organized labor to really take us back in time, unfortunately.
It talks about collective bargaining. I believe in collective bargaining. I have done it twice successfully with state employees. There is protection in law already for collective bargaining.
This would be -- could be devastating for Michigan in the way I view it, because if you step back and look at it, it could wipe upwards of 170 different laws that have been passed both from the time I have been in office, but going back decades.
And so if those laws are wiped off the books, you will have a huge issue of litigation on many of those laws. It would have to go through bargaining again in some fashion. And I think you could see huge cost increases to the taxpayers. They could north of $1 billion a year of additional costs if this proposal was to pass.
And this is right as Michigan is showing great success. We are the comeback state in the United States today.
CAVUTO: But this really is an effort to handicap the governor from doing what Scott Walker did in Wisconsin? It would be an effort to stymie whatever you want to do, pretty much, right?
SNYDER: It is more than that. In fact, it would take us backwards quite dramatically.
So, I would say it is not just an effort to stop things. And again I have not made right-to-work an issue in Michigan. I have said it is a divisive issue. It's not on my agenda.
Labor is the one that is pushing forward with this proposal. And I wish they hadn't because again we are showing great progress here in Michigan and we cannot afford to go backwards.
CAVUTO: There is another one that caught my eye, Governor, this proposal to amend the state constitution to limit new taxes by the state government. Your thoughts on that and its prospects?
SNYDER: Well, that is just really bad public policy, the way the proposal is worded.
It's about two-thirds vote to increase in any rate or base for taxes in our state. And while on the fact that sounds appealing, to get two- thirds quite often leaves small minorities in charge. And the great illustration is we have the dumbest tax in the United States, the Michigan business tax here in business, and it was a job killer.
We got rid of that, but we replaced it with a 6 percent flat net income tax for corporations. That didn't pass by a two-thirds vote. So if this proposal would have been in place, we would continue to have a job- killing, dumb tax in place. By having a regular majority, we are able to do massive tax reform very much in the positive and create jobs. And so I hope people just step back and look back to say, it may sound appealing, but it's really bad policy.
CAVUTO: Grover Norquist might like this, but you do not?
SNYDER: Well, again, I don't know why anyone would like it, if you really look at it.
To give essentially minority control, it really is helping special interests keep on doing special interest things, instead of the big interests of people, is what this proposal would do.
CAVUTO: Governor Snyder, thank you. It's always good to see you.
SNYDER: Great to see you.