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Fox News "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace" - Transcript


Location: Richmond, VA


WALLACE: We'll get into the question of what you oppose in the Obama jobs bill and what you support in a moment.

But how do you -- speaking generally, how do you feel about being the new political villain according to the Democrats?

CANTOR: You know, I guess a lot of the folks on the other side of the aisle want to boil this down to personality. And it's really not about that, the differences that we have with this president are policy-based.

And we know in this town, Chris, there are a lot -- there's a lot of differences right now. And I think the people of this country want to see us trying to set aside those differences and actually come together on the things that we can agree on. We agree that the economy is woefully, woefully weak. We agree that there's too much income disparity in this country.

We believe that everyone ought to be lifted up and we ought to be working on the policies that help that happen, which is to focus on small businesses. And that's what we are trying to do going forward.

WALLACE: All right. Let's break this down and talk specifics. Let's look at the president's job's plan, which was blocked in the Senate this week. Here it is -- $245 billion in tax cuts in incentives, $140 billion in new spending on infrastructure and aid to states, $62 billion in aid to the unemployed.

Question: what's wrong with that plan?

CANTOR: Well, the plan in total was one that was met with a lot of resistance frankly on both sides of the aisle when the president unveiled it in September. And so, when the president spoke that night, I said, let's work together, stop the all-or-nothing approach. We're not going to be for tax increases on small businesses. He knows that. The Senate just killed the bill this week.

So, we said since the beginning when the president came to my district. I've said again and again, Mr. President, we want to work with you. We've got our plan here. This is a plan for America's job creators. We have sent -- we've got 12 bills sitting over on the Senate, that there are things that the president says he believes in -- let's work together, let's find some of the things in his plan that we agree with and let's go ahead and do that for the American people.

WALLACE: OK. We'll get to the Republican plan. And I agree, there is a plan and we'll get to that in the moment.

But you say that there are parts of the Obama plan that you can support. Like what?

CANTOR: Well, I mean, this week was indicated of how we can come together. We passed big three trade bills that are over five years in the making. We have a 3 percent withholding bill that we're going to bring up in another week to help small businesses in the way they conduct their businesses within the government.

We've also had bills coming forward the president says he supports that helps small businesses to access financing and capital so they can begin to grow and create jobs. The president talks a lot about the need for unemployment insurance reform. We've had that in our plan, Chris, since two years ago. When we were in the minority, then Leader Boehner and I went to the president. We presented him with the no cost jobs plan. We said we can do these things, let's work together, let's set aside this all-or-nothing approach that the president continues to go out across this country and campaigns about.

WALLACE: OK. Let's talk about the big parts of the Obama plan -- $100 billion in new spending on roads, bridges and schools. For or against it?

CANTOR: Well, we believe that there's a need for some infrastructure spending in this country, absolutely. But I think what you've got to look at is the president has gone across this country and found bridges and roads where he said, "See, this is why we need spending."

And I think what that does is remind people that the stimulus bill that he created and passed didn't address the problems. There's a reason -- because the process of approvals is so weighed down and bureaucratic red tape is so thick, you can't get the money to the jobs.

So, we said, let's reform the city. Let's go about redoing the permitting process so we can actually get those shovel-ready jobs that he speaks -- the money that they need. Absolutely.

WALLACE: So, if you could get the re-permitting, in effect, taking some of the red tape and cutting it, would you go for $100 billion in infrastructure and new spending?

CANTOR: Well, what we want to see is we want to see the states set sides done away with right now, when states have monies, they come from the federal programs. They are required to set aside 10 percent of those funds for projects that really are not priorities, bypassing others that are nice things. But, frankly, right now, the infrastructure of this country needs to be dealt with.

So, it's about reform, Chris. Yes, we are for infrastructure spending but it's about reforming the system so we're not throwing good money after bad and we can actually get the job done.

WALLACE: What about in the Obama plan, $35 billion for states so that they don't have to lay off teachers, police and firefighters?

CANTOR: Here we go again. I mean, this is the type of monies and these are the type of programs that the president advocated in the stimulus program. I think that the country understands Washington doesn't create jobs.

We believe in private enterprise. We believe the way you do -- the way you get the economy going again is a focus on the business of this country, every one of which started with the entrepreneur making a decision that they were going to invest their time and money to create jobs and to create an ongoing concern. We need that kind of activity. That's priority right now. We saw what happened with the stimulus money. Much of that went to the states. And you know what happened? It sustained some jobs for about a year and then the states were faced about with billions of dollars in debt once that year was over it.

WALLACE: You know, I get the sense and forgive me if I am wrong -- I don't want to put words in your mouth -- that you don't want to be portrayed as an obstructionist. Yes, we want to business -- but, basically, you oppose the Obama plan?

CANTOR: We oppose raising taxes on small businesses. We --

WALLACE: Well, he what do you mean -- the Senate plan, that would be for millionaires and billionaires. Now, I agree, some of them are small businesses. But, I mean, we are now talking not about $250,000, we're talking about people making over a million a year.

CANTOR: Let me tell you -- when I spoke to a small businesswoman in my hometown of Richmond, and she told me, you know, it's hard for me to conduct business right now. And she said, why are you talking about raising taxes in Washington? Because I want to be one of those successful businesspeople, she said. She said, but why is it that you want to go in and take away the kind of hope that I have to be successful?

And we know in this country right now that there is a complaint about folks at the top end of the income scale, if they make too much and too many, don't make enough. Well, we need to both go encourage those at the top of the income scale to actually put their money to work to create more jobs so that we can see a closing of the gap. You know, we are about income mobility and that's what we should be focused on to take care of the income disparity in this country.

WALLACE: OK. Let's talk -- I know you brought it here, the Republican plan. The president has repeatedly said Republicans don't have an economic plan. In fact, you've got it right there.

The House introduced a job's plan last May, let's break it down:

Review and rollback costly regulations.

Cut the top corporate and individual tax rate to 25 percent.

Cut trillions in spending.

Why is that a better way to create jobs?

CANTOR: Well, we have seen that the other way doesn't work. We've seen the stimulus bill that the president put forward in the beginning of his term I think certainly did not reach the promises that he made. There are too many people unemployed in this country.

We believe in private enterprise. We believe in small business. Our job creators' agenda is just that.

And so, we want the president to work with us. We want him to stop campaigning. Let's go find the things that are in common between this plan and his.

And, in fact, Chris, I think you'll see within the next month, we will take portions of this plan that match up with his, put them across the floor to help small businesses.

WALLACE: All right. But here's the issue -- the president points out that Moody's Analytics, one of the top economic consulting firms, scored his plan, figured at what impact it would have, and says it would add 1.9 million jobs next year and grow the economy by an addition 2 percent.

And he issued this challenge. Listen.


OBAMA: Show us the Republican jobs plan that independent economist would indicate would actually put people back to work. I haven't yet seen it.



WALLACE: Congressman Cantor, do you have an independent analysis that shows how this plan would grow the economy and add jobs?

CANTOR: First of all, I would say as to the Moody's economist that the president speaks to, they and their chief economist was the one that predicted that the stimulus program would keep unemployment from rising above 8 percent. So, I think we need to raise some questions about that assessment of his.

WALLACE: In fairness, he was an economic adviser to John McCain in 2008, Mark Zandi, and the fact there's a lot of the private economic firms that say whether it's 1 percent or 2 percent growth, a million jobs, 2 million jobs, that it would have some stimulative affect.

CANTOR: Let's look at this. There has --

WALLACE: Here's a question, do you have independent scoring of what your plan does?

CANTOR: We have -- we put forward a plan on the beginning of the year, our budget, OK, and we had independent Congressional Budget Office scoring which did several things. It talked about the fact that our plan actually dealt with the one crisis bringing down the debt and deficit over $6 trillion and it did talk about the ability for our plan to grow new jobs, yes. So, we've got that kind of analysis.

WALLACE: But you don't on this jobs plan?

CANTOR: Well, what this jobs plan is taking pieces of our overall vision for this country and saying, you know what? We've got to provide incentive for the private sector to grow.

You know, look at the facts, Chris. Since the president has taken office. There's been 1.6 million jobs lost in the private sector net. We've also seen the fact that 7.5 million foreclosures during this president's term.

Obviously, his economic plans are not working. That's why we are trying to say we've got to change directions here. We've got to focus on private enterprise and small business. We've got to get the entrepreneurs back in the game. And that's our plan does.

WALLACE: But let me point out what Mark Zandi and you've raised legitimate questions about him because, you know, like most economists, he's not always right. He's the chief economist at Moody's Analytics. Here's what he says about your proposals. "Generally good longer-term economy policy, but they won't mean much for the economy and job market in the next year.


CANTOR: There is a lot of dispute about Mark Zandi and his predictions because of the results of the stimulus plan that he lauded. I mean, we know --

WALLACE: But the agreement is simply that if you don't have a lot of immediate spending -- and look, I agree, you know, it didn't work well in stimulus one. But the argument is if you don't have some spending and some immediate tax relief, that you're not going to stimulate jobs in the short term, that the kind of cutting back regulations, lowering taxes is really good long term economics, but not give a short term boost to the economy.

CANTOR: We believe, Chris, the best way is to provide incentives for investment to create jobs. We are for tax relief for small business. We believe and agree with the president that business expansion is something that what we can provide entrepreneurs right now and you'll see us bring a bill forward. Hopefully, the president will agree to work with us. I think, finally now, he is talking about actually joining us in these incremental approaches rather than his all or nothing plan that has died in the Senate now.

WALLACE: OK, I got two minutes and I got two questions I want to ask you. Congress's so-called supercommittee now has just a little over a month -- November 23rd is the deadline for it to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.

Do you think they're going to be able to work out a deal and avoid these automatic triggers which would include $600 billion in more Pentagon cuts?

CANTOR: Yes, I think the joint selection committee will be successful in reaching the goal of getting at least $1.2 trillion in cuts. And, in fact, Chris, I served on the Biden discussions. And to the vice-president's credit, it was that committee that actually produced the blueprint that I think can form the basis of the getting to the $1.2 trillion.

WALLACE: So, you are confident the supercommittee will make a deal.

CANTOR: I am. I think folks in this town on both sides of the aisle know that we can't fail. There has to be success and an outcome here.

WALLACE: Finally, I want to take you back to your remarks a week ago about "Occupy Wall Street." Here they are.


CANTOR: I for one increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and other cities across the country.


WALLACE: Congressman, do you stand by that comment on the mobs? And what do you think about the effort by the Obama White House and the Democrats to try to harness the energy, the movement here as part of their reelection effort?

CANTOR: Chris, I think more important than my use of the word is the fact that there is a growing frustration out there across this country and it's warranted. People -- too many people are out of work. But where I'm most concerned is we have elected leaders in this town who, frankly, are joining in the effort to blame others rather than focus on the policies that have brought about the current situation.

I mean, when you hear of the Democrat elected leaders joining in, blaming parts of our economy and society versus, let's take some of the credit or blame here in Washington. I mean, these are policies that they put into place and there's a lot that can be done here in this town to turn the economy around, and promote against income mobility and not go in and excoriate some who have been successful. We want success for everybody.

WALLACE: Congressman Cantor, thank you. Thank you for coming in today and it's always a pleasure to talk with you, sir.

CANTOR: Chris, thanks.

WALLACE: Up next, Iran's alleged plot to murder a diplomat in Washington. We'll talk with Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, when we come right back.


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