This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," June 28, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: Florida's independent Governor Charlie Crist taking aim at offshore drilling today, the governor saying — and I'm quoting now — "We need to stop offshore oil drilling in Florida. I'd like to, frankly, have a special session to ban it in the Sunshine State."
Reaction now from his Republican opponent in the Florida Senate race, Marco Rubio. By the way, we invited the governor and Democrat in the race, Kendrick Meek, to appear on the show. We got no response from them.
Mr. Rubio, welcome to the program. Would you join this attempted ban on offshore drilling?
MARCO RUBIO, FLORIDA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Offshore drilling is already banned in Florida's waters, so I'm not quite sure what he's trying to ban and I'm not sure what he's trying to stop, because drilling on Florida's territorial waters is already illegal by Florida law.
So, having a special session to pass a ban is nothing but a political stunt. It's already banned in Florida.
VARNEY: Well, it might extend the ban. It would be a ban — it sounds like — and I have not seen the details, but it sounds like it will be a much broader-based ban on drilling anywhere near the Florida coastline anywhere out into the Gulf.
Would you support that?
RUBIO: Well, Florida law can't do that. The only thing Florida has jurisdiction over is its own waters. And it's already illegal to drill anywhere in its own waters by state law.
So, I think what he's saying is — he's trying to ban something that's already illegal.
VARNEY: Then I'm asking, in principle, how do you stand on the idea of banning oil drilling offshore, whether the state of Florida can do it or not? How do you feel about it?
RUBIO: Well, first of all, I think the way we have to approach is differently. We have to look at it and say, OK, America needs to develop alternatives to petroleum. Everyone agrees with that. Let's have electric — let's lead the world in electric cars and in fuel-cell-powered cars, et cetera. Let's do that.
But what about the interim? What about the time that it takes to develop that? We and the rest of the world are going to be using petroleum. We need it — that's what fuels our economy. That's just the reality.
So, then we have a choice to make: Do we want to import more of it or do we want to domestically produce more of it? And, by the way, importing carries its own dangers. It carries national security dangers. It carries national economic dangers. It also carries the dangers of tankers, because tankers run aground and tankers leak. In fact, they're historically much more dangerous than drilling.
The bottom line is that America has to produce more energy of its own and drilling may have to be a part of that, so long as it can be done safely.
VARNEY: Governor Crist has gained ground since the tar balls started to haul up on the shores of the Florida. He's gained ground. He's out front, in front of the cameras every single day on this issue. He's — I hesitate to say, but he's winning politically on this issue, especially by calling for this offshore ban.
Now, what can — how do you attack that? How do you come back on that?
RUBIO: Well, first of all, I don't think this oil spill should be the opportunity for political gain by anybody. I'm not quite sure I agree that he has — that there has been gain.
But that being said, I think that the people who need to win here are the people of our state and of our country. And what we need are leadership at the state level that will call on the White House to do a competent job of dealing with this.
If you talk to local elected officials in Northwest Florida, they will tell you that the bureaucracy they are dealing with in order to do their jobs in dealing with this is monstrous. And what they're looking for is a voice that will stand up to the federal government and say enough is enough. Get out of our way and let us do our job. Just provide us the resources.
We're not getting that in Florida, the way they are getting it in Louisiana and Mississippi, for political reasons.
VARNEY: OK. Let me ask you about President Obama. He's come back from the Toronto meeting with world leaders. And he's talking about spending more money, as opposed to the Europeans, who want austerity. I'm going to run a quick sound bite from the president. Essentially, he's calling your bluff and other Republicans. Just listen to this for a second:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Next year, when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step up, because I'm calling their bluff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARNEY: Well, I hesitate to say, but you, sir, have been hollering about deficits and debt.
Will you step up now — not next year, but now — and do something about spending and the deficits now? Would you do that?
RUBIO: Well, first of all, it's ironic that Europe is now lecturing America about spending.
VARNEY: Yes, it is.
RUBIO: It's pretty sad. But the other thing I would say to you about it is that we have been talking about this throughout our campaign. And if by difficult measures, the president is talking about a value added tax or some other new revenue source for America that will make it even harder to grow businesses, we're not going to be for that. We shouldn't be for that.
We have to make some tough choices. They should have started making them a long time ago. It's called entitlement reform. It's reforming our budgetary process, so that there are not any more earmarks, so that we have a realistic, real world accounting of how much government — of how much government is spending, absolutely.
VARNEY: It's a very tough position for you to take, isn't it? This is — this is tough stuff, indeed, to call for some kind of cutting back on entitlement programs. And that's the bottom line here, and to do it now. That's a tough one.
Well, what I'm calling for is to reform those entitlement programs. I don't think we should cut anything for people that are currently on the system. And the only way we're going to prevent future cuts to people that are on Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid is for us to make the reforms that need to be made right now for people of my generation.
I have been talking about the entire campaign, look, here's very simple: Forty cents of every dollar being spent by the federal government is being borrowed from my children. I think that's outrageous. We have to stop doing that.
VARNEY: You can tell I'm a European and I was looking at the coverage of the events in Toronto over the weekend. What caught my eye were those demonstrations. The violence in the streets of Toronto, I think we're going to run it.
Yes, look at this, running riot in the streets of Toronto. I'm inclined to think look at the mainstream media and how they covered that violence and how they covered peaceful Tea Party meetings. There was a direct contrast from one to the other. Do you have any comment on that?
RUBIO: I haven't seen some of that footage. I can't see it now in the studio anyway.