This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 30, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, that good news not stopping Hillary Clinton today from slamming the economy during a stop in Indiana.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, D-N.Y., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, in order to support our businesses, we have got to have an economy that actually produces good jobs and rising incomes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, well, news flash: It has.
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Now, we are not taking sides here. We are offering some clear numbers here. More than five million jobs have been created since the president first took office. Incomes are up nearly 19 percent in that time. There is no doubt that things are slowing, and we are well off our highs. But part of covering and discussing the economy is discussing the good with the bad. Are these comments doing more harm than good?
With us now, former White House counsel under Bill Clinton Lanny Davis, a Clinton supporter.
Lanny, always good having you.
I don't know wise it is, though, for any candidate to talk down an economy, though. You are a good numbers guy, too, Lanny. And you have to see the balance in what I am saying, do you not?
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: You can always say that you disagree with somebody stating a fact and say that they are emphasizing half-empty vs. half-full. That is a fair debate, Neil.
But the fact is, this economy, certainly in the last year, has not done very well. There has been a net loss of jobs. And compared to two terms of Bill Clinton, where we had 24 million new jobs, and you are talking about five million, if you are the average American and go out into mainstream America, you will find that most people feel that they're not ahead, that they're falling behind, that they are losing their houses or that the price are going up that they can't afford.
CAVUTO: Lanny, you are a smart guy. You know that, in the end of the Clinton presidency, we had a recession just starting. You also know that the Internet went bust. You also know that along the way came this thing called 9/11.
CAVUTO: Now, I am not dismissing any of the things you're talking about. I am stressing, though, that part of being fair in assessing the overall economy during seven or eight years is to see the overall economy.
DAVIS: Well, I can certainly validate everything you just said. It is not necessarily all George Bush's fault, or even a majority. And if that is the point you are making, there were some things, like 9/11, that made it difficult.
But I would also say to you that there are things that I attribute to President Bush. He says the Iraq war is important, yet, he used a credit card to pay for it, all debt, all borrowing to pay for the Iraq war. We went from a surplus to a trillion dollar deficit. And don't tell me that is because of big spending by the Congress, because the president just vetoed for the first time in the last year any spending bills.
CAVUTO: Well, but, Lanny, Lanny, I don't want go and revisit history. I know what you're trying to do here. And you're obviously going to agree with Senator Clinton...
DAVIS: Just facts.
CAVUTO: ... who says that we are going to hell in a handbasket.
CAVUTO: I will say that, when Wall Street imploded, a third of the revenue the government was getting all of a sudden dried up. I am not here to debate that.
I am here, though, to simply say, what is the wisdom of a political candidate of either party bashing the economy, when she talks about a global economic crisis, when her opponent says we are in shambles? And either one of those folks can become the president of the United States, on who really the world depends, to get sort of like a cerebral sort of hang on this.
CAVUTO: And, yet, they are crying fire in a crowded theater. Now we know, technical — and I know these definitions mean little to the campaigns — technically, it is not a fire. Then, is it doing anyone any good saying it is?
DAVIS: Well, first of all, your characterizations are — you are entitled to call things bashing and fire. And those are characterizing words.
CAVUTO: Global crisis. Global crisis. Global crisis. Global crisis. Just that.
DAVIS: We are in a housing crisis where people are losing their homes at record numbers. That is a fact. We're in Middle America, where people are feeling huge economic pain. That is a fact.
CAVUTO: How many do you think are losing their homes, Lanny? How many do you think are losing their homes?
DAVIS: I don't know. I don't know the number, but I know that I just come from Pennsylvania, where there are neighborhoods with foreclosure signs up and where certainly the record number of foreclosures.
CAVUTO: Lanny, would you be surprised, would you be surprised if I told you that close to 96 percent of mortgages in this country are being paid on time month in and month out?
DAVIS: Not at all. Nor am I surprised that you are focusing on 96 percent and I am focusing on 4 percent.
CAVUTO: No, Lanny, here's the difference. Here's the difference. I report both. I am not accentuating one over the other. I'm reporting both. I'm telling you both.
DAVIS: All right.