This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 3, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, if only everything was on fire like Facebook -- new evidence today that Americans are just spent, major retailers posting their worst sales since 2009, Macy's, Costco, and Target.
And you know what? They all were missing their sales targets last month as worker productivity posts its biggest drop in a year.
All of this not good ahead of tomorrow's crucial jobs report.
My next guest knows what it takes to create jobs. His state has created more than 1.2 million of them since he took office more than a decade ago.
Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry joining me right now exclusively in this nationally televised interview.
Governor, good to have you back. Welcome.
GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS: How are you, Neil? Good to be with you, sir.
CAVUTO: You must be feeling pretty good about that, not quite as good if you were a Facebook key player, but, nevertheless, not too shabby.
PERRY: You know, I think the first place that Facebook located outside of California was to Austin, Texas.
CAVUTO: Is that right? Is that right?
PERRY: So we've been helping Mark expand his company.
CAVUTO: Did he give you any shares for that?
PERRY: No, sir.
PERRY: But he gave us plenty of opportunities to hire people in Austin, Texas. So that's our M.O.
CAVUTO: Well, you know, it's interesting, Governor. One of the keys to expanding, as Carl's Jr., the big burger folks, did so in your state and others, because they felt that there was a very favorable tax environment, a very pro-business environment.
And Facebook, obviously, might have been seizing on that as well. But the argument is that, nationally, the environment for companies is not that way, and that a lot of them have all this cash overseas and they're not bringing it back. What do you make of that?
PERRY: Well, certainly, I think the tax structure in the United States, corporate tax structure in particular, one of the things that we've talked about during the presidential election was how do you lure these companies back into the United States.
And, listen, taxes and regulation are really what drive the corporate decision-making, or, for that matter, a small business man and woman who's trying to decide whether or not they are going to expand their business. It's about taxes. It's about regulation and in some cases about the legal structure as well.
And one of the reasons that Texas is the best place in the country to do business, according to CEO Magazine as late as day before yesterday, is they ranked the states again for 2011, is taxes and regulation. Quality -- quality of your work force is obviously part of that as well.
But they have -- I think 650 of their corporate leaders across the country were asked to measure the states with this matrix of taxes and regulation, legal system, quality of life, the quality of the work force, and Texas came in number one. Florida was number two. Rick Scott's doing a great job of competing.
Looking at that list, Louisiana moved up 14 places. Bobby Jindal understands keeping taxes and regulations as thoughtful and as low as you can from the standpoint of taxes and regulations that are fair and predictable. It's not rocket science, Neil. It's having the confidence that the private sector actually knows how to run their own businesses and that they don't need big government telling them how to run their business, and allow them the freedom to do that.
That's -- nine out of those 10 top states were...
CAVUTO: Well, that's been Mitt Romney's message, as you know, Governor that he has the business and the private sector experience preceding just his days as governor of Massachusetts.
Now, you criticized his -- his record in Massachusetts as governor. Are you more comfortable with him now? Do you support him now? How do you feel?
PERRY: Oh, absolutely. I've endorsed him.
I’m a heck of a lot more comfortable with him than I am with Barack Obama. And that’s going to be our choice.
CAVUTO: But you were for Newt Gingrich. And, obviously, Newt Gingrich pulling out yesterday, and he did mention you and thanked you for your support.
What do you think happened there?
PERRY: Oh, I think – I'll leave that up to the political pundits.
The reason we have contests is to pick a winner. And we've done that. Mitt Romney will be our nominee. He will be 10 times better than Barack Obama, particularly when it comes to the economy. And, as in -- they said in 1992, it's the economy, stupid. It's still about the economy.
And Newt Gingrich, any of our candidates, but particularly Mitt -- he's going to be our nominee. We're going to be behind him. And God help us if he doesn't win.
CAVUTO: All right. But as you have heard, Governor, and as Newt Gingrich himself has brought up in the past, and other conservative candidates, Rick Santorum among them, that there's just not the fire for Mitt Romney that there was for some of the more conservative candidates in the race, and that that's going to be hard to win them back over.
What do you think of that?
PERRY: I suggest to you we better get a fire going.
Four more years of Barack Obama, when you look at these -- debt that is on the future generations, when you look at what he's talking about doing from the standpoint of coming in and telling states how to run their business, this isn't even in the ballpark of close.
Mitt Romney has to win this presidential election in November of 2012, or our country truly is going to be on the precipice of bankruptcy and international affairs that I will suggest to you none of us are going to like.