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Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on McCain's VP Pick

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," August 26, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, if these rumors are true that John McCain has already picked his running mate and will tell the world, maybe even before the weekend, then who knows. Maybe this guy already knows it.

And the Democrats are so ticked off, they're raising the music, so you don't hear it.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: Maybe Mitt Romney is sitting on the biggest secret of his life — or maybe not. He's the guy. Maybe he's not the guy. And he can't say a word.

But he is with us right now, and we're going to see how good a poker face he has.

Governor, good to have you.

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: Thanks, Neil. Good to be with you.

Video: Watch part 1 of Neil's interivew with Mitt Romney | Watch part 2

CAVUTO: Are you the guy?

ROMNEY: You know, Neil, I got nothing for you on the V.P. front.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: I can only tell you that I have — I have confidence in — in John McCain. And his instincts — his instincts have been proven right time and again.

I trust him to pick a good person to be on his ticket and somebody who views the country and the economy the way he does. And I think he's going to strengthen his ticket with that pick.

CAVUTO: Have you spoken on the phone with him lately?

ROMNEY: You know, it's been a little while since we have chatted. But, again, I'm not going to — I'm not going to open the door to this big secret that you're talking about. I got nothing for you on that front.

CAVUTO: All right. I'm going to twist and swerve my way around this throughout the interview, Governor.

But, right now the issue seems to be that the senator will make an announcement before the weekend to try to steal some of the Obama, I guess, convention bounce thunder, if I could say that.

What do you make of that strategy?

ROMNEY: You know, I'm not a political strategist, even though I have run for office a couple of times, once successfully. You know, I think — I think John McCain is going to do what he thinks is best for — for his chances of getting his message across.

I — I think there will be a bounce from the Democratic Convention. I thought it got off to a good start last night. I think Ted Kennedy did a fine thing of coming to the convention and speaking. He — he's proven once again he's a lion, and I respect him for that.

But I think, in the final analysis, that, despite these bounces and all of the confetti and the — and the glitz associated with a convention, people are going to focus on the issues. And, on the issue of the economy they're going to see that Barack Obama, who wants to raise taxes, cut back on trade, and prevent drilling for oil offshore and no new nuclear power plants, is simply wrong for the economy.

CAVUTO: You know, when a lot of people heard these Romney rumors, Governor, they said, well — here I'm talking the Democratic delegates, sir — well, man, oh, man, that's our dream ticket. These guys have so many houses. You know, one forgets how many he has. The other, you don't even want to know how many he has.

What do you make of that?

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: Well, I was asked today how many homes I had, and I said, "Well, I have one less than John Kerry." It didn't seem to bother the Democrats when they had them.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: So — so, I'm — you know, the politics of envy don't go very far in this country.

The American dream is alive and well. People are not in any way going to suggest that John McCain, who — who's a person who served his country in peace and war in the military, had a full career in the military, and then has served his country in the U.S. Senate, who's put country first time and again, any suggestion that he's anything other than a true-blooded American who understands the needs of our country is just not going to connect with the people of America.

CAVUTO: I also wonder, too, Governor, that a fellow who has endured more than five years in a prison camp, I — I think, knows a little bit about suffering. But that's neither here nor there.

Let me talk to you about this rich battle and then — and who's got more and who's got this. And it even — you know, Republicans do it with Obama and his home and how he got it. And everyone was making fun of Barack Obama telling a union audience that, you know, he's worried about the price of arugula going up.

And I got to tell you, Governor, I don't know what arugula is, but, apparently, neither did that union crowd.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: So, I'm wondering whether we're wasting time on this stuff. What do you make of it?

ROMNEY: Well, you know, I'm not a great historian, but I do look back at some presidents who, obviously, understood and connected with the people of America. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a man of enormous wealth, and that didn't seem to bother his leadership, John F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, for that matter.

So, I don't think it goes very far. It's fun to talk about. It makes for interesting dialogue. But, in the final analysis, people want to know who could lead the country.

And — and they're going to say, you know, whether Barack Obama is rich or not rich, whether he got his money from Rezko, who's a convicted felon, or not, he's just not ready to be president of the United States. He — he hasn't had the experience to develop the judgment to fix our economy and to deal with the problems we face around the world. And — and John McCain has. He's proven that time and time again.

CAVUTO: Governor, we're going to take a quick break here.

When we come back, I do want to address with you these polls that show the race dead even, when you would think, with the argument the economy's going to hell in a handbasket, Obama should be leading by 20 points. So, I do want to explore this a little with you, if you don't mind sticking around.

We're going to have more of Governor Mitt Romney after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: All right, continuing now with Governor Mitt Romney.

And, Governor, I was saying before the break the oddity of these polls that show, in a slowing economy and still a very controversial war in Iraq you would think the challenger to the White House would be running away with it, and we have got polls today that show it's dead even, if not tipping to McCain.

What's going on here?

ROMNEY: Well, you know, I think, despite all the efforts of the Democrats to try and say that — that John McCain is the same as George Bush, that people recognize, having watched John McCain over the years, that he's — he's nobody's second. He's his own man. He's a maverick.

The major pieces of legislation that he voted against George Bush on are — are in people's minds, and they recognize that both men represent change.

And, in the case of John McCain, you've got somebody who has experience that represents change, who's been there, who's done that, who understands how the economy works. And, in Barack Obama, you have a celebrity, somebody who is feted around the world, but just doesn't have the experience, is just not ready to be president of the country.

And I think people are focusing on that and saying they just can't get there with Barack Obama.

CAVUTO: Governor, there's always this argument you need a bounce coming out of your convention. I never know who's right, how much of a bounce. What do you think it should be?

ROMNEY: Well, I think you will see a bounce coming out of each convention, but I think it's short-lived.

I think what happens in the ensuing weeks is that people concentrate on issues that they care about and where people stand, not just on rhetoric and on beautiful slide shows or — or videos, but, instead, where they stand on the issues they care about.

I think the debates are going to be a lot more important than the conventions. So, it's going to come down to what happens between Labor Day and the Election Day.

CAVUTO: I was thinking of the debates, Governor. I thought, you know, I know you're not talking, but how would you like to debate Joe Biden?

ROMNEY: You know, Senator Biden seems to be an impenetrable thicket of words, so I can't imagine having to go up against him. I think almost anybody that goes up against him would find themself, you know, outspoken.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: And people would say, "Oh, they lost to Joe Biden."

But, in the final analysis, people look at the issues and where people stand. And I don't think — I don't think Joe Biden is going to be able to get around his positions and those of Barack Obama, for instance, saying no to offshore drilling.

CAVUTO: That drilling issue has supposedly shocked everyone, that it became a Republican issue. So, gas prices, which would normally hurt Republicans, have actually helped them. Of course, they have been since coming down.

Are you surprised the economy is not as big an impact on this race as you would think?

ROMNEY: Oh, I think the economy will be the big issue for this race. And I think energy is a big part of that. When we're sending three- quarters-of-a-trillion dollars out of our economy, that's going to hurt Americans. It's going to make it more expensive for people to — to get to and from work.

CAVUTO: OK.

ROMNEY: It's going to be harder to heat homes. And John McCain is saying he will do everything it takes to develop sources of energy, nuclear power, drilling as well.

CAVUTO: OK.

Governor, a real pleasure. Thanks for the couple of questions on the V.P. thing. You were a good sport.

Governor Mitt Romney.

ROMNEY: Thanks, Neil.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

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