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CNN "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" - Transcript - Zimmerman Trial, Women's Health, and Immigration Reform


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CROWLEY: Watching the action across the nation to the not guilty verdict in George Zimmerman's murder trial people have gathered in the streets of downtown Chicago. Federal and state officials are keeping a close eye but mostly things have been pretty calm. In just a moment I will talk to the governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn. I want to go first to Texas and Republican governor Rick Perry made a lot of news this weekend. Also a lot of news being made in Florida, governor. So let's start there. What do you make of the Zimmerman verdict and the reaction to it?

PERRY: Candy, without a doubt, a tragic event and as your experts you had on the previous segment they did a very good job of laying out the details of the case. And the issue boils down to you had two very, very capable teams, prosecutors and the defense teams laying out the evidence and the jury made the decision. And although, you know, there maybe people on either side of this that don't agree with how it came out, the fact is that we have the best judicial system in the world and we respect it. And you know, that's my position is that a very thoughtful case was made by each side, the jurors made the decision, and we will live with that.

CROWLEY: And certainly the critics have said, the critics of the verdict have said we respect the jury, but the other point they're making is that innately the justice system is racist, is unfair to people of color, in particular African-Americans. Do you think that?

PERRY: I don't. I think our justice system is color blind, and I think that, you know, again, you don't find people that always agree with the jury's decision. But that's the reason that we have the system that we have in place. And I think it, you know, by and large, it may not be foolproof. People may make mistakes in the jury system on the civil side. You have that appellate process, but in this case, I will suggest that two very extraordinary capable teams laid out the issues and that jury made the right decision from their standpoint.

CROWLEY: Let me move you on to doings in your state including a controversial abortion bill, perhaps not in Texas but certainly we saw one of your state senators Wendy Davis launch a very impressive filibuster but the second time around you got more restrictions on abortion. In an editorial that senator Davis wrote on she said that the effect of this, that by putting out more things that clinics have to -- more standards for clinics it will close down about 90 percent of women's clinics in Texas bringing them down to 5 clinics in Texas to serve the needs of women. Do you agree that the bill is going to do that and doesn't that put poor women in particular in a place where they have nowhere to go if they choose to seek an abortion?

PERRY: Well I don't agree with her premise and I don't agree with her numbers and I think history will prove that she is wrong by asserting that. The bottom line here is that in the state of Texas and again, this gets back to the issue of should the states be able to make these decisions or should we allow this big cumbersome federal government to decide for all of us. I happen to be one of the people that believes that the federal government should do a few things and do them well and then allow the states to make the decisions on these types of issues.

So in the state of Texas we put some substantial amount of money into women's health programs over the course of the last two years. Partly because the Obama administration pulled our funding to the state of Texas because they disagreed with Texas restrictions on these abortions. And most people I think in this country and in Texas certainly believe that six months is too late to be deciding whether or not these babies should be aborted or not and we put the limit at 5 months in this bill.

CROWLEY: Right. Let me move you on to politics here and ask you about your future. You ran for president once. It was a rough kind of go. You're going to be foot loose and fancy free as we say in 18 months. Why wouldn't you try again to run for president?

PERRY: Well, you're absolutely correct about the 18 months to go and that's what my focus is rather than 2016. There's a lot of work to be done.

CROWLEY: But you wouldn't be the first governor to do a lot of things that look good on a resume. So that's why I kind of ask, you know, is that where this is headed.

PERRY: Well I hope -- I hope that it's not about a resume. I hope it's about the people of the state of Texas and helping create a climate where folks have the ability to have a job and take care of their families. That's what we have done here. You know, Candy, some one third of all the jobs created in America in the last 10 years were created in Texas. That makes for a better living, better quality of life and that's the competition that, you know, Governor Quinn and I and other governors across the country have.

CROWLEY: Right. And, Governor, the immigration bill in the House now looks a little iffy. There are some Republicans on national footing that say if immigration reform is not passed Republicans cannot put a Republican in the White House. Do you agree with that?

PERRY: I disagree that the idea that there's one piece of legislation is going to decide whether or not an individual is going to get to the White House is a little bit out of the realm of reality. Let's secure the border. We have talked about this for a long time.


PERRY: It's interesting. I have been the governor for over 12 years now, 1200 mile border with Mexico. We have a great deal of experience of dealing with border and border security and Washington in any form has not come to Texas and sat down with us with any focus and said how do we deal with this and I think that's...


PERRY: ... really interesting. I don't think the will is in Washington D.C. to secure the border. So until that happens I'm not sure the American people are going to trust Washington to come up with some immigration bill until they secure the border.

CROWLEY: And quickly, governor, you have been raising quite a ruckus across the United States as you tour various states looking into businesses to move into what you consider a more business friendly environment in Texas. Among those states, Illinois, we're about to talk to Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who responded to your visit and called you, "a big talker," and added, "we don't need any advice from Rick Perry." I was just wondering if you had something you'd like to say to the governor as we turn to him.

PERRY: Pat is a good competitor and the fact is it's not about him and it's not about me. It's about the business climate in our respective states and competition is good. I will suggest to you the Chicago Bulls come to San Antonio and they're not poaching jobs - poaching wins, they're about competing. And sometimes we win. Sometimes we lose. You know, Chicago back in the early 2000s was able to lure Boeing to their city for the headquarters. And it made us really take a look at our economic development, our tax structure, our regulatory climate, our legal system and we have put a very, very competitive system into place...


PERRY: ... and we compete with each other. It's how America will be stronger or when these 50 states compete against each other and are allowed to be the laboratories of innovation rather than Washington making all the decisions and micromanaging down into the states.

CROWLEY: Governor Perry, I got to move you alone here, lest you take up some of Governor Quinn's time. But I really appreciate you showing up this morning. I'll see you down the road.

PERRY: You're welcome, Candy.


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