This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, April 24, 2002. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: One of President Bush's most trusted and valued advisers has decided to step down. Karen Hughes, counselor to the president, has decided to put family first and return to Texas.
CARL CAMERON, FOX SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: President adviser Karen Hughes, thanks very much for joining us.
KAREN HUGHES, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Glad to be here, Carl.
CAMERON: On this day that we find out that you're leaving the Bush administration.
HUGHES: Not entirely. I'm moving home to Texas. But at the same time, I told the president I'm going to continue to be involved in his administration. He wants me to be involved, and I want to be involved. So the commute will be a little longer, but I'll be still be around.
CAMERON: What's so terrible about life in Washington?
HUGHES: Well, it's not that. It is what is so wonderful about life in Texas. Our roots are there. I have a daughter and a granddaughter there. My son is going to 10th grade next year, so he'll be home for three more years before he goes to college. And my husband and I came to a difficult but I think right decision that we want those years to be spent in Texas. We want him to feel rooted there, to be able to be with his friends. We want to be with our friends.
And we love Texas. Most Texans will tell you it is a very special place.
CAMERON: It's almost cliche in Washington when someone says I'm leaving to spend more time with family, there's something else.
HUGHES: Well, in this case, there really is my family. I just think it is right for my family to be rooted in Texas. That's where our roots are. That's where I want my son, when he goes off to college. I want him to know that his home is in Austin, Texas and that he can come home and see his friends and be with his family. And I am very grateful that President and Mrs. Bush both respect that decision and still want me to be involved with the administration. And so I will be.
CAMERON: Now, someone will say that, well, during this war on terrorism, when there is an international crisis and there is so much going on for this administration, this would be the last time that you should leave. Balance those demands versus what is right for your family.
HUGHES: Well, again, I think that I can continue to be involved. I will continue to give the president advice in any way he wants me to do that. I mean, I have got a great team in place here. So I can lead the White House to move to Texas with absolute comfort that the president will continue to be served very effectively.
One of the things I pride myself on as a manager is that I try to develop and empower good people. And with Dan Bartlett in charge of our communications office and Ari Fleischer and Mike Gerson in our speech writing, and Mary Matalin in the vice president's office, I think the president will continue to be very well served. And I imagine that he will call me frequently and I will always return his calls and I'll always be available.
I'm going to come to Washington quite a bit as well. We talked about having me come to Washington for several days, every couple of weeks so that I will continue to be involved and a key part of the administration.
CAMERON: For those who suggest that there might have been administration internal friction, and that Karen leaves as result of that, tell us how the president mediates those who have his ear and the implications of that?
HUGHES: Well, let me completely disabuse you of any of that because this is strictly a personal decision. This is something that my husband and I decided. And I went to the president last week and told him that I thought it was better for my family that we live in Texas, and that I wanted to continue to be involved and he very much wanted to continue to be involved.
Now, separately from that, I think all of us who have worked for the president consider it the best working environment possible. He listens to his staff. He gives his key people access to him, so once he makes a decision, you're able to fully support it because you know he has heard your opinion. He has heard and respected and considered your opinion, even if he doesn't agree with it.
And so, what he asks from his staff is unvarnished advice. I keep a piece of unvarnished wood on my desk to remind he that that's what I am expected to give. And I always have and I will continue to do that.
CAMERON: Though you still have a couple of more months of duty in your tour here.
HUGHES: I do. I am glad you remember. Some of these questions today have acted like I'm leaving tomorrow. But I am going to be here for several months and then I will be back frequently.
CAMERON: As you reflect on the last year and a half, what is the singular Karen Hughes contribution for which you are most proud?
HUGHES: Oh, wow. Well, obviously any way that I could have helped the president. I do think I got a great deal of satisfaction from my involvement with the Afghan women's initiative and highlighting the plight of the women and little girls of Afghanistan. That really showed me how communications and our ability to communicate really made a difference in people's lives. And I think the lives of women and children in Afghanistan are a lot better today as a result of what our military did and as a result of our communications effort to bring the world's attention to their plight.
CAMERON: You helped write the president's book when he was a candidate.
HUGHES: I did.
CAMERON: Do we expect a Hughes book soon?
HUGHES: Oh, I don't know about that. You know, I'm making one decision at a time. Right now, I'm deciding that I'm going to move my family home to Texas. I hope I'll take a few weeks off. It's been a pretty busy eight years. I went to work for the president eight years ago, and all this presidential stuff started five years ago when he first had to have a press conference to address the question in Texas of whether he would or would not consider being a candidate for president.
So I'm looking forward to at least a couple of weeks of vacation and then I'm going to keep on being involved with the president and serve him in any way I can, including, you know, making maybe some speeches on his behalf. And if he wants me to write something on his behalf, I'm sure I'll be glad to do that too.
CAMERON: Karen Hughes, thank you very much.
HUGHES: Thank you, Carl.
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