This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," October 14, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, you bend, they twist — Republicans supporting health care reform crying foul over some Democrats insisting they support their health care reform.
These next two GOPers are saying, far from it — Senator Susan Collins learning that lesson today.
Same with my next guest. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson Governor was also Republican governor of Wisconsin.
Governor, Senator, welcome — or, Governor, I should say.
CAVUTO: The senator had said this. Bob Dole had told me this last week when he was with me: I didn`t sign on to their reform, Neil. I`m signing on to the notion that Republicans should work for reform.
That was kind of your pitch, right?
TOMMY THOMPSON, FORMER HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Absolutely. You know, people like Bob Dole and myself have been in the trenches for a long time advocating for a better health care system for all Americans. And that is what we`re still saying.
CAVUTO: But not this health care, right?
THOMPSON: Not this — not this one.
CAVUTO: So, you got ticked off. And, apparently Rahm Emanuel and the White House, they just pulled the ad right away.
THOMPSON: They did, because no — they got no permission. There was nobody...
CAVUTO: What did you say? Did you call the White House up, and...
CAVUTO: Oh, boy.
CAVUTO: I wouldn`t want to be on the receiving end of that.
THOMPSON: And, you know, it was just, you know...
CAVUTO: Well, what did you say?
THOMPSON: Well, basically, I said I never gave anybody permission to use me in an ad that`s going to criticize Republicans.
What I`m trying to do is bring the parties together, saying there was 80 percent of this health care bill that both political parties could support, which would be good for America. Why don`t we work on that 80 percent, get bipartisan support, and pass a health care bill that is going to really be a credit to this administration, to both political parties, and to America in general?
CAVUTO: I had — and I`m sounding like a name-dropper here, Governor.
CAVUTO: But I had Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, and he was saying, well, we want to strike a deal, but if it means that they won`t budge, better nothing on this deal than, you know, a half-patched one. And so he was saying no to this deal.
What do you make of that?
THOMPSON: Well, I think he`s probably correct, no to this deal.
But what I`m saying to...
CAVUTO: But you`re saying and Bob Dole are saying, don`t go too far with that, because then you will look like the party of no.
THOMPSON: That`s right.
CAVUTO: So, what is the middle ground?
THOMPSON: The middle ground is to say, you know — you know, both political parties, in their party platforms, advocated changing the system from a diseased system to a wellness system. Do something about chronic illnesses, manage diseases, and you will take up — about 75 percent of the cost of health care is in this particular area.
Both political parties want that. You`re talking about insurance reform. Let`s do something about allowing individuals to get insurance easier, and don`t put arbitrary kinds of ceilings on it, and be able to allow more people to get involved.
Allow people to cross state lines and buy health insurance, be able to have people come together and have groups to purchase health insurance, things like this that both political parties can and should be supporting.
CAVUTO: But you know, Governor, I have a theory on this.
THOMPSON: Sure. Sure.