NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: All right, don’t mess with Texas, because, over the past two years, more than 200,000 jobs have been added under one Governor Rick Perry’s watch. That is more than any other state, as companies flee high-tax states. So, what’s exactly his secret?
The second installment of our special "Help Wanted" series, it begins -- well, it begins right now.
And we’ve got the governor himself, Republican Governor Rick Perry.
Governor, good to see you in the flesh.
GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS: It’s good to be with you, right here in front of you.
CAVUTO: You are speaking at a big din-din tonight, the Lincoln Day Manhattan dinner, for want of a better term. Donald Trump was originally supposed to speak to this group. Methinks that they think you’re the guy running for something else.
PERRY: Well, we are happy to get to fill in for the Donald. So, we’ll have fun and share with woman about what we are doing in Texas and why they need to pick up and come on down to Texas if they want to live in the land of the free and the -- a great opportunity down there.
CAVUTO: Yes, but, Governor, they have not searched this far for a speaker since maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger.
CAVUTO: And there was no way he could run for president.
CAVUTO: So, they have -- they have -- they sought out Texas.
CAVUTO: What do you think that means?
PERRY: I think it’s the right thing for them to do to pick a governor of a state that’s got a great story to tell.
When you look at what we have done, seriously, on the job creation side -- you said in your opening, what’s the secret? And the fact is it’s really not a secret. It’s pretty simple. You keep those taxes low and the regulatory climate fair and balanced, predictable, regulatory -- or I should say a legal system that doesn’t allow for over-suing.
We passed loser-pay in this last session of the legislature to add to our rather substantial legal protections, if you will, from frivolous lawsuits. And a skilled work force...
CAVUTO: By the way, you mentioned that frivolous lawsuit thing. It got me thinking, there are these ads, Governor, running in, of all places, New Hampshire, Americans for Job Security putting them out.
They’re done by a guy who has close ties to Dave Carney, who was one of Newt Gingrich’s top advisers, I guess, before he quit.
And they talk about your own crackdown on frivolous lawsuits and the like where the loser pays, stuff like that.
CAVUTO: That’s odd.
PERRY: It’s a great message.
CAVUTO: Yes. It’s in New Hampshire.
PERRY: It -- well, the 50 states, in our opinion, are where the laboratories of innovation should be. You know, in my book "Fed Up"...
CAVUTO: But did you know he was doing that?
PERRY: I didn’t.
PERRY: But that’s OK. We like to brag about what’s going on in Texas. We like to talk about, how does your state match up against the state of Texas when it comes to things like taxes and regulations, litigation?
So, hopefully, in New Hampshire, they’ll get the message. And...
CAVUTO: Well, they are. They get high Q-score reaction.
And I’m wondering, with all this talk about former Gingrich strategists who are looking at you, trying to help you, either directly or behind the scenes, whether that’s as clear a sign as any you’re running for president.
PERRY: Yes, I think it’s a clear sign that I’m certainly giving it an appropriate thought process.
Six weeks ago, this was not on my radar screen. I love being the governor of Texas. And we have done a fabulous job, I think, in that state from the standpoint working with our legislature, our lieutenant governor and our speaker, to...
CAVUTO: But what change in six weeks can move you closer?
PERRY: You know, it was a number of conversations that were had with people I trust, including my wife that basically said, listen, our country is in trouble, and you need to give this a second thought.
CAVUTO: So, when you looked at the debate of participants as they stand right now, last night, did you have a chance to see that and say, gee, I could beat -- I could beat those guys?
PERRY: Well, actually, I was watching the Texas Aggies beat Florida State in baseball to go to the College World Series. But the fact is I have...
CAVUTO: Did you see -- did you see any of the clips?