This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," May 5, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, the economy turning the corner, the president turning up the taxes, and now a rising star in the Republican Party is turning up the heat.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.
The Fed chief now says the economy is pulling out a recession and could soon be growing again later this year, just as President Obama is planning billions in new tax hikes on business.
Meg Whitman says this is no time to be hiking taxes anywhere. The former eBay chairman should know. She built eBay from a company with just 30 employees to one with 15,000 workers and $8 billion in revenues.
Now she wants to do the same for cash-strapped California and is running for governor.
In a rare national appearance, Meg Whitman joins me now for this exclusive chat.
Meg, good to have you.
MEG WHITMAN (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Glad to be here.
CAVUTO: I was thinking of you running. I have interviewed you so many times in your eBay capacity that I guess it says something about these times that a woman who made a fortune and created a behemoth, you know, selling stuff on the Internet is going to try to come to California's rescue.
WHITMAN: Well, I looked at the state of California. And we are in big trouble in California. It's far worse, actually, even than nationally.
And I looked at the high unemployment rate, the crumbling infrastructure, the K-through-12 education system that is now rated 48th out of 50 states.
CAVUTO: Is that so? Really?
And businesses are leaving California. We are bleeding jobs to California — to Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Utah, Nevada. And I said, you know what? I just refuse to let California fail. I am going to try to step in and see if — if some of the skills I had at eBay and other places can be brought to — to government.
CAVUTO: Meg, I was in your fine state a couple of weeks ago for the tea party. And I was in Sacramento, where, if you become governor, I guess you will be sworn in.
And a lot of those folks I talked to hated both parties.
CAVUTO: They hated Republicans. They hated Democrats. They hated the spending. They hated taxes going up in your state.
And the Republican governor and Democratic legislators are just letting it happen.
How do you say, "I'm different"? What do you say?
WHITMAN: Well, I think it's about focus, Neil.
There's three things we have to focus on. First is job creation and job retention in California, because, unless we get the economic engine going again in California, I am not sure anything else we want to do is possible.
CAVUTO: But how do you get the engine going...
CAVUTO: ... when there's no cash to get it going with?
WHITMAN: Well, the first is, we have to make it a far more business-friendly place to do business.
We have to streamline regulation. We have to reduce taxes, and we have to actually be really interested and focused on, are businesses happy in the state? Who is leaving? How can we stop them? And we're going to have to stand up and compete.
CAVUTO: But it's a national trend you're bucking, too, because there is a trend for more government, whether you're for or against it. And the guy who is espousing that, with a number of valid reasons, is very popular in your state. That is President Obama.
WHITMAN: Well, I think we need a complete change in terms on how we welcome businesses and keep businesses in California.
The second thing is state spending. We have a spending problem of epic proportions, Neil. We have a $150 billion budget, and it is not efficient, energetic government. A bureaucracy has grown up over so many years.
CAVUTO: You know, Meg, they always say that. Arnold Schwarzenegger, when he came in, after the referendum, he was going to be different. The Terminator was going to stop it.
CAVUTO: And it got worse.
WHITMAN: Well, I have run large organizations. I have balanced budgets. I have created jobs.
As you know, 1.3 million people make their living selling on eBay. And I understand how to lead large organizations. And one of the biggest differences, of course, is, I run very large organizations.
CAVUTO: Well, would you consider hawking any of the state's assets online, if that were the case?
WHITMAN: Well, the first thing we have to do is, we have to streamline government. We have to do things much better, much more efficiently to deploy technology...