Meg Whitman on Conservative Surge in California

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 12, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right, now California is often considered a bastion of liberalism, but with the midterm elections just 82 days away that may change very soon.

Now California Republicans have nominated an impressive slate of candidates drawn heavily from the business world. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is giving Democratic fixture Barbara Boxer a run for her money. Now the latest survey, USA Polls, shows that Fiorina has established a five-point lead in the race. And she now leads Boxer 47-42 percent.

And it looks like the Republicans may maintain control of the executive branch as well. According to latest poll former eBay CEO Meg Whitman leads Democratic nominee Jerry Brown by a one-point margin: 44-43.

And joining me now with reaction is the candidate herself, California's Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is back.

Meg, welcome back to the show.


HANNITY: We appreciate it. And -- what do you think is happening in the polls out there with Republicans in a state that's pretty blue, like Massachusetts and New Jersey? Why do you think you and Carly Fiorina are doing so well at this point?

WHITMAN: Yes, the top two Republicans on the ticket are doing very well. And I think it's because people are fed up. They know Sacramento is broken, they know Washington is broken. And they want give two people who've had a great track record of creating jobs, cutting government -- cutting spending, balancing budgets.

And I think they are looking for a whole different approach. At least in the governor's race I know they are looking for a completely different approach in Sacramento, because it's not working for people in California.

We have a record unemployment rate. You know, 2.3 million Californians without a job. And they want someone who's going to fix the economy and get Californians back to work.

HANNITY: All right. Well, let me ask you. Because the state comptroller that came out I believe Tuesday of this week, and literally said that -- with California's state budget, California would be unable to pay their bills in late August or maybe early September.

So it's basically saying that means that issuing IOUs to people, that means -- if I'm interpreting this right -- California is going bankrupt by the end of the month or in September? Is that how you interpret that?

WHITMAN: Once again, we are going to run out of money and we're limited in our ability to pay our bills. And this has been going on, this is the second budget cycle where we've ended in this position in recent memory.

And we have got to get a budget. The legislature and the governor should have started in January. There -- we should have been finished by June 30th. And here we still are looking for a budget.

And here's what we've got to do. In order to solve this budget crisis we've got to put Californians back to work.


WHITMAN: The only sustainable way to increase tax revenues is get the economy going and then we have to take $15 billion of cost out of the state government because --

HANNITY: All right, you have --

WHITMAN: -- unfortunately, we have a government we cannot afford.

HANNITY: All right. You have a Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold Schwarzenegger through a number of ballot initiatives, trying to deal with the Democratic legislature out there, an assembly -- he has tried a number of times to try to bring some fiscal responsibility. He is not had the success that he's wanted. I know because I've been out there and I've interviewed him.

What makes you think that you're going to be able to get in there and get the assembly and get the Senate and get people out there in California, in Sacramento to go along with your plan when they've been unwilling to do so up to this point?

WHITMAN: Well, first is I got to get the administration -- my own administration -- set up correctly. I got to get the right people in the right job. Because a lot of costs can be taken out in the context of your administration without the legislature.

For example, using technology to do more with less. Using technology to fight fraud. Reorganizing and streamlining can be done within the context of the administration.

And then with a Democratically controlled legislature here's what we're going to have to do. We're going to have to work on a small number of things. And I want to veto everything that isn't focused on creating jobs, getting government spending under control or fixing our K-12 education system.

HANNITY: And cutting taxes?

WHITMAN: We want to cut taxes, too. And we're going to have to do that through a series of targeted tax cuts like getting manufacturing sector going again, eliminating the start-up tax.


WHITMAN: And I want to be able to -- you know, make Republicans and Democrats famous for keeping jobs in California. We should never had let Northrop Grumman leave California for Virginia.

So let's focus on doing a small number of things really well that will make a difference to Californians. And I have to tell you, you know, the legislature, I think, has a 9 percent approval rating in California. And so Californians are frustrated. They want a different course.

HANNITY: All right. Meg Whitman, thanks for being with us. We're going to follow this race closely, 82 days to go. Thanks for being here.

WHITMAN: Thank you, Sean. Take care now.