NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You’d think that all of this terror in the world would be a worrisome distraction for Republicans powwowing here in New York. But Jack Welch (search) says you’d be wrong. It’s actually probably making the party’s case on terror. Former G.E. boss and widely praised management guru Jack Welch joins us out of Boston to explain.
Jack, good to have you.
JACK WELCH, JACK WELCH LLC: Hello, Neil.
CAVUTO: The Republican Party (search) has been saying, Jack, as you know, terror is front and center. That is the dominant issue of our times. It takes a day like today to remind us of that, I guess, huh?
WELCH: Well, you know, Neil, terror is never pleasant. And none of these scenes here are things that any of us want to see. But, as I see November, it is the economy and it is our safety.
As far as the economy is concerned, I think The Wall Street Journal (search) captured it today with the remarkable editorial on the Bush recovery, really, from the troubled times that he inherited, whether it be the dot-com bust, the industrial collapse. So I think the economy is going to grow at 3 to 4 percent for the rest of the year, and will be off the table.
CAVUTO: You know, what, Jack, there’s a subset to that, and I might be one of the few who looks at it as not the economy. But this go-around, I don’t think "It’s the economy, stupid." I think "It’s security, stupid." What do you make of that?
WELCH: And neither do I, Neil. That is why I think we can put that one off the table and go to our safety. And in The New York Times this morning, it had a picture on the front page which was devastating.
WELCH: A young Israeli child hanging out of a bombed bus really highlights how we have to have a safer America. And it really points to the fact that we need a strong leader.
And whether it was John McCain talking, or Rudy Giuliani talking, or Arnold Schwarzenegger talking, you felt just what George Bush is, a strong leader. And I think without question his leadership is what we need to attack things away from home, rather than being attacked here. And I think, you know, we can never guarantee no attack, but we sure need strength at a time like this.
CAVUTO: Well, what makes you have doubts about John Kerry responding to the same terror threats?
WELCH: Twenty years of a Senate record of not a strong defense, trying to pacify the French. The French aren’t going to help us at home here now. You can take any one, one of several issues.
Look, John Kerry is not the guy for the defense of our country. John Kerry is a thoughtful, good man. But right now, we need the strong leadership that President Bush can provide.
And it’s never been clearer than it has been this week. None of us want these tragedies, they are all awful. But you need strong leadership at a time like this, Neil. And this isn’t time for change.
CAVUTO: All right. Jack, always good having you on. Thank you for your perspective.
WELCH: Thanks a lot.
CAVUTO: Jack Welch, the man who used to run G.E.
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