NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, you know, no Republican has secured the nomination without first securing the state of South Carolina.
The Republican governor of that fine state with us right now, Governor Nikki Haley.
Governor, good to see you.
Do you have any horses in this race?
GOV. NIKKI HALEY, R-S.C.: Hi, Neil.
Well, first of all, it’s a great day in South Carolina. And I appreciate being with you.
I don’t have a horse in the race, but, boy, am I excited about the way the track looks. When you look at fact that we've got a tax attorney, we’ve got a CEO, we’ve got executives of states, we have got just some strong candidates in the field, November 2012 is looking better every day.
CAVUTO: Now, of course, yours is a right-to-work state. There's this battle going back and forth over Boeing and whether it can hire these 1,000 workers that it already has. You’ve made that centerpiece in just your speeches lately about making sure that South Carolina maintains that right- to-work attraction and appeal.
How important is it that you hear the same message out of those candidates?
I mean, what we need to hear is what they would have done with the NLRB decision if they were president. This is the most un-American decision I have ever seen happen. What you have is a company that is as great and as American as Boeing, who has created 1,000 jobs in South Carolina, at the same time, expanded 2,000 jobs in Washington State. And the NLRB is trying to sue them.
It is wrong. The president needs to speak up. He has been unbelievably silent. And either he needs to say he's for this union bullying or is he not for it. But he cannot be silent and still go before a joint assembly of Congress tomorrow and say he wants to talk about jobs.
CAVUTO: What if it was shut down and a court ruled that Boeing can't do this? Would you as governor have any power to either overturn that move on that, do something about that?
HALEY: I mean that is just not an option. I don’t know what powers I have, but I would make sure that that doesn't happen.
We are six months ahead of schedule with Boeing. We've got some very happy employees where the union's tried to come in and they told them to turn right back around and go out. They were very happy. We -- our state, the cost of doing business is low. It’s a strong right-to-work state.
We have companies like BMW, Michelin, and Boeing that do great work here, and they do it without the unions, because there's a great relationship between the employees and the employers. I, as governor, will continue to fight for that right every day for our companies and our employees. And Boeing shutting down is just not an option.
CAVUTO: Governor, your Senator Jim DeMint is not going to be watching and listening to the president tomorrow night in Congress. He’s going to be meeting with Boeing executives, we're told. What do you make of that?
HALEY: Yes, I think that Senator DeMint has certainly fought for Boeing and Senator DeMint continues to fight for what is right for South Carolinians, as well as for America.
I'm going to be watching, because when a president calls the joint assembly of Congress, this better be great, this better be big. You know, they typically do this when they are basically saying we are going to war. I hope what he is saying is we are going to war against the bullying of unions, that we are going to war against tax increases, that we are going to war against any mandatory regulations that are slowing our businesses down and we're going to start creating jobs.
He better say something great, because he has certainly built it up to where it needs to be great. And we do not want to hear of sister stimulus plans. We've been there. We've done that. We’ve increased our debt because of it. And that is not what the American people want.
CAVUTO: So, a $300 billion jobs plan at a minimum, as our White House correspondent, Ed Henry, was just noting, ain't going to cut it for you?
HALEY: I mean, Neil that has to be a joke. It has to be a joke.
We've done the stimulus package before. It didn’t do anything but raise the debt. It caused states to go into a world of trouble. It’s "Groundhog Day" all over again.
You can't do it a second time and say, oh, this time; and say oh this time it's going to be different. And you want to add that money to state and local aid? No, this is the time where government needs to be shrinking. If he wants to improve jobs in our country, the best thing you can do is give stability to businesses. You can say we are going to do permanent tax cuts. This is what you can expect when you’re doing your business plans.
This is what we're going to do to make sure that you can go and start your business, expand your business and there won't be tax increases. He needs to give confidence to the people of this country by saying I'm not going to have a roller coaster of a budget, I’m not going to have a roller coaster of tax issues, that were going to forward, but what I am going to do allow is foreign investment to come into this country and establish jobs and establish business. I'm going to allow the companies that are already here in this country to be appreciated and expand based on the fact that we’re going to continue to be stable in tax policy as well as in regulatory policies.
Those are the things he needs to be doing. This is about stability and confidence in a time where the people of our country are begging for it.
CAVUTO: You know, Governor, I talked to a number of Republicans, those who are very prominent in the presidential race and others who are not, but they are up there.
And usually on background, what they say is this. We are just going to oppose everything the president is looking at. We don’t like what he’s doing. We don't like piling on more spending, so we are essentially going to be stopping him at every pass and sort of like run out the clock and see if they can just beat him next year doing just that. What do you make of that strategy?
HALEY: I'm fearful because we don’t have time to run out the clock.
Me as governor of South Carolina every day, I'm working to create jobs in our state. And every day, the hardest part about my job is the federal government. Whether it's me enforcing our illegal immigration policy, whether it's having to deal with this health care mandate that they continue to want to push on our state budgets, whether it’s talking about stimulus packages or EPA regulations, all of these things that continue to get in the way when I as governor am trying to bring companies into our state, companies into our country to create jobs, the federal government keeps getting in the way.
The best thing the president could say tomorrow is that he will stay out of our way, allow states to go and let the free market work and create jobs the way we want to. We would have a much better result doing that than for him to introduce another way of spending more government money.
It is really getting ridiculous. I truly feel like this is a philosophical belief of his that he thinks more tax dollars will create a better situation. But he needs to change the people that are advising him and understand you can't try something for a second time and expect a different result.
CAVUTO: I talked to former Reagan Budget Director David Stockman yesterday, Governor, and he was critical of Republicans and Democrats, saying that the deficit is so big and the debt has gotten so out of control that for anyone to say you can’t and shouldn’t be looking at both revenues and spending cuts is crazy.
What do you say?
HALEY: Well, you know, this is not to blame one party or the other.
I have said constantly that I think both parties made mistakes. This debt limit that we are in and the debt crisis that we’re in didn’t happen from one party. It happened from both parties. But what I will tell you is what needs to happen is very much what we have done in South Carolina and what a lot of governors have done around the country, which is you don't look at where you can find more money.
You look at how you are spending. You prioritize. You say, what is the role of government? Government was intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people. It was never intended to be all things to all people. So let's prioritize the dollars we have. Let's get creative, like every small business does, and start planning not just for next year, but years three, five and seven and figure where we’re going to go.
This is a serious time, but it’s a great opportunity. The dollar is weak so you've got companies from overseas that are looking to invest in our country, looking to create jobs, looking to put their companies here for the first time. You've got companies that are already here that desperately want to expand. They just need to know there’s stability and confidence.
So while they want to talk about revenues, I’m still going to tell you that what has gotten us through in South Carolina is we focused on the expenses.
CAVUTO: All right.
HALEY: The taxpayers are paying enough right now. The businesses are paying enough right now. Leave them alone. That’s just not the groups we need to touch.
CAVUTO: Governor, very good chatting with you again, Governor Nikki Haley in Columbia, South Carolina.
HALEY: Thank you. My pleasure.
CAVUTO: Thank you, Governor.
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