Dennis Hastert on Health Care Reform

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," November 3, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, the countdown on, the votes coming in, and, in Washington, the price tag on health care going up, way up, but maybe not for long? Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto, three hours before the first polls close in some key races, and we are everywhere, my friends, in New Jersey with the race for governor, Democrat Jon Corzine fighting to keep his post against Republican Chris Christie, The Wall Street Journal reporting that turnout is light, but steady, The National Review saying that turnout is actually strong in Republican districts, and particularly Republican counties that were carried by John McCain only last year there.

To Virginia and the governor's race between Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds. The Times-Dispatch is reporting turnout at about 45 percent today. Now, that is on par with the governor's race back in 2005, but it is way below the 75 percent turnout we saw in last year's presidential contest.

To New York, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani blitzing the 23rd Congressional District with robocalls in a last-minute push for Conservative Doug Hoffman, as former Republican Dede Scozzafava puts out her own robocall, reporting at the urging of the White House, for Democrat Bill Owens.

And to Washington, where all of this could determine how much these guys get to spend on this, a health care bill now pegged at more than $1.2 trillion.

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert watching all of this very, very closely.

The speaker joins me right now. Speaker, let's say both Virginia and New Jersey flip to Republicans. What does that mean?

DENNIS HASTERT (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, I think, first of all, it — has to see who turns out. And I think, as you see in New Jersey, Republican voters are turning out. I think independent voters are turning out. And I think all these people who thought that maybe a change we can believe found that it's change — there's also changing what you believe in.

We have had cap and trade. We have had socialization of health care. We have dipped into the seniors' Medicare future and cashed out to a health care bill that is upwards of $1.2 trillion. It is really break-the-bank politics, and I think people are tired of it.

CAVUTO: But does what is going on nationally influence these races? I mean, you can argue that, in both states, they have got a lot of their parochial, local concerns, in New Jersey, property taxes that have always been a problem for many years, Republican and Democratic administrations alike, and, in Virginia, a lot of local concern about other issues?

You know what I am saying, that maybe we are making a bigger national issue of this than is warranted? What do you say?

HASTERT: Well, I think these — I think these campaigns were run on national issues.

And I think the campaign in Virginia was talked on increased in taxes, and there talked on cap and trade that impacts small businesses and people just trying to heat their own homes or pay for their air conditioning bill. So it is a real people — a people type of issue. And I think people have said, look it, we have had enough of this. We don't want it in Washington, and we don't want it in our own backyard.

CAVUTO: So, let me venture this possibility. Let's say it is not a good day for Democrats. We don't know that, but it's one of the possible scenarios. And you have still got this $1.2 trillion health care reform package the leadership is trying to push through, but you have got a lot of very nervous congressmen who are probably wondering about next year and the midterm elections.

How does this potentially change the dynamics?

HASTERT: Look it, I have managed a few pretty close votes. And if you have members that actually hear footsteps behind them, they're pretty skittish. And think this election could send that message.

I think there will be a lot of members out there that are just a little bit reticent about voting for a huge public takeover of health care long after a cap and trade bill that put a tax on people just to heat their homes or turn on a light or turn on the air conditioning.

And I think people understand. I think the economics of politics are going to catch up to them. I think there's going to be a real reticence on this bill.

CAVUTO: All right.

Do you think that Republicans automatically benefit, though, Speaker? By that, I mean there is this tea party movement afoot now, and maybe we saw it in evidence in the 2013 New York District case, where the Conservative candidate, the Republican Party ultimately did rally around, but not before a great deal of infighting, and now talk that conservatives nationwide are going to target Republican candidates who don't meet their criteria, that this could boomerang on Republicans and hurt their chances next year.

HASTERT: Look it, I think, to win, my philosophy, you have to pick up independents, you have to pick up conservative Democrats, and that may be over issues of abortion and gun rights and those types of things.

The Republican Party, the only time it is successful is when it is a big tent party. But, you know, they have to enunciate the issues. They have to lay out the whole issue of how you create jobs, how you create capital.

And I think it's exactly the opposite of what the Democrats are trying to do. So, I think there is a real opportunity there.

CAVUTO: All right. But — because, you know, I say this at the time when a lot of these stalwarts who went and decided to stick with Hoffman and stayed by Hoffman say, well, we would rather lose a congressional race than — than nominate or elect a Milquetoast.

And what do you make of that argument, that — that the honor thing, that better to lose with a principled candidate than to win with someone who doesn't match your principles?

HASTERT: Well, I think, first of all, the selection process in this particular case, in McHugh's district, was a flawed process. And I think people ended up with a decision-making process that really didn't reflect what Republicans, or Conservatives, as you have in New York, really thought. And I think that process played out.

CAVUTO: So, in other words, about the fact these seven party leaders rallied around Scozzafava, the — their ultimate choice was not a very open process, right?

HASTERT: That — exactly. And I think people rebel when that happens.

CAVUTO: Speaker, great seeing you. Thank you very much.

HASTERT: My pleasure. Always great to be with you.

CAVUTO: Denny Hastert. All right.

Content and Programming Copyright 2009 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.