This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," May 14, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, well, now to the fight against big government spending. It is dubbed Tea Party 2.0. In just about four hours, two Republican governors will be holding what they call a tele-town hall meeting. Thirty thousand people ticked off over higher taxes and government spending, they're expected to take part.
With us now, the two guys taking those questions, Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Governor Rick Perry of Texas.
Governors, a lot of folks tell me I am looking at two future presidential candidates.
So, Governor Sanford, are you one of those guys?
GOV. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: No.
I am a guy that is joining a lot of other folks with Tea Party events and sentiments across this country who are genuinely ticked off about the direction of the country. And that is what Jeri was just getting at just a moment ago.
And Rick joins me in Texas and Sarah Palin out in Palin. There are a lot of us generally concerned. And the question is, how do you honor the taxpayer sentiment that expressed itself across this country April 15 one month later? And, ultimately, I think that is what tonight is all about, at least beginning and one effort toward that end.
CAVUTO: Governor Perry, many who are very die-hard passionate said they were apolitical. And here you are, two prominent Republicans within your party, maybe argue — I know you would argue for the moment otherwise — maybe presidential candidates within your party, who are trying to co- opt this Tea Party thing.
What do you make of that, Governor Perry?
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: I am excited that there are Democrats and libertarians and folks that don't want to be associated with any political party standing out on the courthouse steps and all across the country saying, hey, Washington, what are you doing? You are mortgaging our kids' future.
I'm just proud to be standing with them, and using a rather large bully pulpit of the governorship of the state of Texas to say, you know what, the 10th Amendment is important to people of the state of Texas. Washington, read the Constitution. Pay attention to the 10th Amendment. Live up to it.
CAVUTO: All right, Governor Sanford, let me ask you about this whole issue about whether you take money that is coming in the stimulus package for your state. You have — you have made a big distinction between taking all of it and certainly that allocated to stuff you can't really refuse. Governor Palin in Alaska in the same kind of pickle as you are.
Should governors of any stripe be defined by how much money they refuse?
I think that, again, federalism is based on the concept of different things fit for different states. And each of us, in looking at the details of what works or doesn't work in our state, ought to make our stand accordingly.
And when we looked at our numbers in South Carolina, we happen to rank fourth in the United States of America in what we allocate to paying down debt. And that is interest payments that go to New York or Zurich, as opposed to a teacher in South Carolina or a health care concern in South Carolina.
And, so, we said, this — this does not make sense. We ought to reserve some of it — in this case, it's $700 million — it represents about 10 percent of the total — and allocate it to paying down debt.
We think that is a commonsense decision. And, again, different governors are going to have different takes on what makes sense, based on the particles of their state.
CAVUTO: Governor Perry, did you mean it recently when you — I don't know how much of this was credited to you, sir — that Texas might consider seceding from the country?
PERRY: Well, it shouldn't, any of it, be given credit to me for, because I did not say that.
What I said was, we live in a great country. America is a — or Texas is a very unique state inside of that great country. And I saw no reason at all for us to be even talking about seceding.
But, if Washington continues to force these programs on the states, if Washington continues to disregard the 10th Amendment, who knows what happens? There may be people standing up all across the country in Tea Parties, saying, enough, all right?
CAVUTO: All right. So, you are saying, then, Governor Perry, that, if that is the case, and Washington continues on this trek that you apparently do not like, that you would consider that option?
PERRY: Here's what I am saying.
I think Americans are paying attention to what is going on in Washington, D.C., right now. They're frustrated. In some cases, they fear for the future of their children. And they are really upset that Washington is not paying attention to them.
I love the concept of the Tea Parties and people using that First Amendment right. And I hope that Washington starts paying attention to the 10th Amendment and allows states to get back to being the laboratory of innovation and competition. That is what will carry America forward out of this recession, not more government spending out of Washington, D.C., just and them telling us how to run our states.
CAVUTO: Governor Sanford, Dick Cheney was with me this week. And a lot of your fellows Republicans have said, "You know, we love Dick Cheney, but he should just go fade into the — the night."
How do you feel?
SANFORD: I disagree with that.
You know, whether you like him or whether you dislike him, you know where he stands. And I think that we need more of that in the world of politics. And, so, I would applaud the fact that he's out there saying, "Hey, this is what I believe," and, some cases, being rather clairvoyant in terms of some of the things that indeed are coming our way.
I think it was — you made the point that, 48 hours ago, he was saying, you can't get to where they're proposing with regard to health care change without increasing taxes. Within 48 hours, the speaker of the House comes out saying, all things are on the table.
So, I think it is valid for somebody with his level of experience to speak their mind. I think more important is that people at a grassroots level really go about the business of speaking their mind, which is what Rick and I are trying to say.
CAVUTO: All right.
SANFORD: You know, we are not saying that the Republican Governors Association, or the two of us, as Republican governors, are the only way forward.
What we are saying is, hey, we're working on some things. And I think that, within every one of our respective spheres of influence, we ought to look for ways of plugging in to what the original Tea Parties were about April 15.
SANFORD: And that goes to the heart of TeaPartyPatriots.org and TeaParty.com.
SANFORD: You look, there's a lot of energy out there...