This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 31, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: The president meeting with top CEOs today in a push to get the long-term jobless back to work.
But if he really wants to create more jobs, this guy he just met with yesterday says take a cue from him, Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker calling for a $500 million tax cut in his state.
Governor, welcome to the program.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER, R-WIS.: Good to be with you. Thanks for having me on.
VARNEY: You met with the president yesterday, unlike your Democrat opponent in the gubernatorial races, who wouldn't meet with him.
VARNEY: You did meet with him.
Did you talk to him about your plan for creating jobs, and, if so, what did he say?
WALKER: In this case, it's pretty cold in Wisconsin, so we spent a limited amount of time talking outdoors. But it was really talking in our case about the propane crisis in the state.
But if we had had more time, that's exactly what we talked about. We have a surplus, almost a billion dollar surplus. And the way we got there was making it easier for employers to create jobs, to put more people to work, to increase personal income, and you do that by putting more money back in the hands of the people and by easing the regulatory climate so that employers can do just that.
And that's what we're going to keep doing here.
VARNEY: Well, you have got a $900 million state budget surplus.
That's very unusual amongst any of the states in America today.
But the left is saying, why don't you put that money back into social investment, put it back into the schools, build some infrastructure, put it to work for the people? That is what they say.
But you're rejecting that.
WALKER: I am indeed.
In fact, when I travel my state, I don't hear people say to me, we send too little money to our state capital. Oh, they don't say the taxes are too low or they're even just right. What I hear repeatedly from one end of the state to the troops is people telling me, if you want to continue to grow the economic recovery we see, if you want to continue to put more people back to work, put the money in this surplus back in the hands of the people as consumers and employers in this state.
We're putting half a million dollars into income and property tax relief and on top of that more than $300 million into changes into withholdings, so people get more in their paycheck. We figure if a working family can see their property taxes goes down and their income taxes goes down and have less money taken out of the withholding, in total over $800 million, that's going to be money better spent in the economy by those individuals and not by the government.
VARNEY: You're talking a lot like Ronald Reagan. That's a compliment from me, obviously.
VARNEY: But you sound like him because you're concentrating on economics, not social issues, not immigration, none of that. No, you're focusing right there on tax cuts, job growth, economic growth. You sound like Ronald Reagan.
WALKER: Well, it's a simple concept and it's an optimistic one, and it's one that not only Republicans and conservatives can rally around.
it's independents and even some discerning Democrats who understand that the best way for our communities and our state and our country to get better is to see the economy grow, to see more people go back to work.
You talked about the president meeting with employers, talking about chronic and long-term employment. The best way to ease unemployment is to do what we have done. Unemployment has dropped three points in the last four years -- in the last three years in -- particularly, but from four years ago.
And we have seen more people working in our state, because not just because the unemployment rate is going down. Because the work force is going up, more people going back to work because we made for a better climate for employers in our state. We need to do it across the country as well.
VARNEY: Now, you are on the national stage. Whatever you say goes out nationally. And you're looked at as a national politician these days, not just the governor of Wisconsin.
Is this a conscious effort on your part to rally the whole national Republican Party around the idea of tax cuts, economic growth, job growth?
Are you consciously doing this?
WALKER: Yes, I think more growth, more freedom, more prosperity are good, not only in Wisconsin. They're good across America.
And I want my sons, Matt and Alex, who are 18 and 19, not only to grow up in a better state than the one I grew up in, but to grow up in a country that is at least as great, if not greater than the one we grew up in as well.
And to do that, we have got to have more states and ultimately more leaders in our nation's capital taking an optimistic pro-growth approach.
We have shown here, particularly as a contrast to my neighbor in the south in Illinois, where they raised taxes, and their budget is a mess. Their pension is the worth fund in the country. Their bond rating is the worst out there.
And they're talking about even higher taxes now going forward. We have done just the opposite and our unemployment rate is much lower than theirs. Our budget is down. Our economy is better. I think that's a great contrast between two very different views of how to govern, and for America, just like Wisconsin, it's going to be better if we go down that approach.
VARNEY: But, Governor, you know what I'm getting at. You are spoken of as a potential presidential candidate. Now, I don't know whether you're going to run or not. But you are staking out territory within the Republican Party.
And you're -- it sounds like you're trying to pull everybody together behind an economic message, not going off on a tangent anyplace. No, you're zeroing right in on an economic message. Is it deliberate on your part because you want a presence in the Republican Party, because you want to lead it?
WALKER: Well, absolutely, I'm not talking about being a candidate for anything other than being governor in this great state.
But do I think it's important to be a leader when you have a moment like this, and leadership requires people to take a -- stand up and take a stand and in this case it's simple. I think the same thing applies across this country as does here. Three years ago when I ran for governor, three- and-a-half years ago now, in late 2010, I told the people of my state we face an economic and a fiscal crisis.