• With: Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor and 2012 candidate

    CAVUTO: Well, would you be for...

    ROMNEY: -- instead, we’re still seeing...

    CAVUTO: -- what he -- I’m sorry, sir...

    ROMNEY: -- a huge deficit of jobs.

    CAVUTO: -- but would you be for what he’s advocating, at least for now, an extension of the payroll tax cut?

    ROMNEY: I’m all in favor of keeping taxes down and keeping burdens down in American businesses and -- and employers. I want employers and -- and entrepreneurs to have every incentive to open businesses and to start creating jobs.

    CAVUTO: OK. You mentioned Governor Rick Perry -- or I did, and asked you about it. And he -- maybe because you’re the leader in this race, it’s not surprising that he zeroed in on your comment about your business experience. And I think you had said you and Herman Cain are the only ones of the people running now who has any.

    He said: "I think its oranges and apples," referring to you. "Running a state is different from running a business. What I would say is go take a look at his" -- referring to your record, Governor -- "when he was governor and my record when I’m governor. Then you’ve got some apples to apples."

    And his, he’s saying, is better.

    What say you?

    ROMNEY: Well, you know, we have a lot of time over the coming months to talk about distinctions between the various candidates. But, really, the place I think I want to focus my time and attention is on the failure of the president. He’s going to come out on November 6th with his jobs plan.

    Why hasn’t he come out with it already?

    If it’s a continuation of what we’ve seen in the past, we know it will fail.

    I’m also in Nevada on -- on September 6th. And -- and I will be coming out with my jobs plan. And it’s going to be very different than his. And if we follow my jobs plan, we’re going to get America working again.

    The -- the focus of my effort right now is to make sure that people understand that President Obama and I could not be more different. He spent his life in politics. I spent my life as a businessperson. I know what it takes to get jobs again in this country.

    CAVUTO: No one doubts that you have the smarts, Governor. I -- I think what comes up a lot in these polls, this latest one from Rasmussen, which shows the aforementioned Governor Perry leading you. And these things, I know, are just quick snapshots, but that you don’t appear to have the fire or emotion.

    I’m just wondering whether that troubles you, of whether it’s going to be something that’s going to dog you, that people just don’t think you’ve got the pizzazz, the oomph, to be president.

    ROMNEY: Well, why don’t you go back and pull out the tape from the Iowa State Fair. That may convince you, Neil.


    CAVUTO: Where you had it out with that protester?

    ROMNEY: More than one protester. We had quite a few protesters.

    CAVUTO: Well, that’s true. There were a few there.

    ROMNEY: Look, I care -- hey, Neil, let -- let me tell you something. You don’t decide to run for president of the United States unless you’ve got fire in the belly, because, let me tell you, there are a lot of incoming shots that come day in and day out.

    I care very deeply about this country for myself, for my family, for my grandkids, for the -- for the betterment of the world.

    America is the greatest nation in the history of the earth. It’s an exceptional nation. The president has gone around the world apologizing for America. I happen to believe in the principles that made America the leader in the world. And I’ll tell you, I’m in this race because I care about this country. And I happen to have the background, having lived in the private sector for 25 years, been a businessman, a successful businessman -- by the way, I’m not -- I’m not embarrassed about that. The fact that Bain Capital is one of the leading enterprises of its nature in the world is something I’m proud of.

    I understand how the economy works and I want to use that skill to get Americans back to work and to get America once again on a ramp to remain as it’s always been the most powerful economic engine in the world.

    CAVUTO: Finally, sir, on this Iowa Straw Poll, you were not an active participant in it, but former senator, John Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor, as well, blasted the poll as meaningless.

    Do you think it was meaningless?

    ROMNEY: You know, I think it was a great show of strength for Michele Bachmann and, actually, for Ron Paul, as well. I think both were able to show a great deal of support on the part of -- of people in Iowa. And I think, in the case of Tim Pawlenty, he made a strong effort there, but I -- I think it pretty well suggested to him that that just wasn’t going to work for him.

    And so I think it had significance for the people who -- who participated in that -- in that poll. I -- I -- I would, you know, I’d acknowledge the -- the success of someone like Michele Bachmann and -- and Ron Paul and the -- the efforts that they made there.

    CAVUTO: All right, Governor, it’s always a pleasure. My best to you and your family. Be well.

    ROMNEY: Thanks, Neil.

    CAVUTO: Mitt Romney.

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