Interviews

Mike Huckabee on President's Jobs Plan

Former Arkansas governor weighs in on proposal

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 28, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF, “YOUR WORLD”: Five thousand more jobs washed out, as appliance maker Whirlpool tries to keep rein costs in, but there is good news. The president is on it, rolling out two more executive orders today. And one is going to create a new Web site to help businesses find information on federal programs should they need it.

The government has got no plan or no love for this plan -- now, I’m talking the governor, Mike Huckabee, who joins me right now.

If in doubt, set up a Web site. Boom.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: There’s going to be a total of about 1,100 families out of the Fort Smith, Arkansas, area that will lose their jobs.

Those are good jobs, very good jobs for that area and very good jobs for Arkansas. They plant had a big expansion a few years ago and all the jobs will disappear. Those families are not going to be looking for a Web site. They will be looking for a job.

And I’m not against Web sites, but I think that the kind of economic realities that we are facing now demand a great deal more than an executive order and a Web site. And hopefully at some point the president may look at his own policies and recognize they are not working.

CAVUTO: Well, it’s just a matter of time. I’m surprised we didn’t hear it today. Maybe we did, Governor, pass my jobs bill, pass my jobs bill. I did have a Democratic senator -- congressman, I should say, on here yesterday who was saying, first priority, pass the president’s jobs bill.

HUCKABEE: If the president wants to pass it, he can pass it in the Senate. Why doesn’t he? Because he doesn’t have enough Democrat votes in the Senate to pass it. That’s why.

CAVUTO: It failed in its existing form.

HUCKABEE: That is exactly right. So I think that is total nonsense. And he keeps blaming the Republicans. But the Republicans can’t stop it in the Senate.

And the fact is, if he is serious about it, lay it on the table and get Harry Reid to put it on out there on the Senate floor and let Republicans and Democrats all be on record. Let it go to the House. I think John Boehner would let it go up for a vote and let people be counted whether they believe that spending more government money we don’t have, borrowing more money from China, which we cannot afford to pay back, will create a single American job.

What Whirlpool did was shed $400 million of costs, which is what every employer does when their market is soft and they have got to figure out a way to try to keep their product alive and their brand alive. The problem is, a lot of those families, like those folks from my home state who lose their jobs; they are the ones who take it in the teeth on a day like today.

CAVUTO: You probably have seen this political piece and elsewhere that the administration is confident that the trend is their friend, I’m paraphrasing here, but it was essentially, the numbers are not gangbusters, but we are no longer going bust.

What do you make of that?

HUCKABEE: There are a few good signs, not great signs, but better than they have been. But it is almost like, you know, the guy who jumps off a 100-story building and at the 73rd floor; they hear him say, so far, so good.

I think that is what kind of what we’re...

CAVUTO: See, this is the kind of stuff we’re not getting in the debates.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: Go ahead.

HUCKABEE: But that’s what I think sometimes the administration is feeding us. Every week, we have 400,000 new unemployment claims. That number seems to be frozen, as if it is in the throes of Antarctica. We can’t get out of that.

CAVUTO: By the way, at this point in a recovery, it should be barely over 100,000.

HUCKABEE: But it’s not and it hasn’t been for months and months and months.

And people are afraid to hire. So, I am just not quite as excited as the administration is, though I do say every bit of good news at this point is good news and we welcome it.

CAVUTO: We had a good market week. We generally like to think Americans are nearly as wonky as I am. But we have had a good market week.

Others are saying this could be a turnaround for the markets. Those who argue that it is a barometer of things to come say, nearly up 4 percent this week, this was a seminal event, and that will be the wind at the economy’s back. What do you say?

HUCKABEE: A lot of what happened this week was the result of particularly Angela Merkel taking some strong action...

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: ... the European Union to bring some...

CAVUTO: By the way, don’t steal my job, OK?

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: By the way, a lot of this had to do with Angela Merkel.

(LAUGHTER)

HUCKABEE: You and Angela.

CAVUTO: Yes.

HUCKABEE: Well, I believe it was you telling Angela how to handle this that probably made it work.

CAVUTO: Yes. That’s exactly it.

You have one hit show. Save this little nerdy world for me, Governor.

(LAUGHTER)

But you are right. That was really the big...

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: I believe it is why the stock market went back to 12000 this week. I don’t believe it’s because people are suddenly out there singing in the streets of Manhattan happy days are here again. I’m not seeing that.

CAVUTO: Could I ask you two very quick things?

Ron Paul not ruling out a third-party run on Fox last night, dismissing talk of it, nevertheless. But what would happen if he did?

HUCKABEE: We would reelect President Obama as president for a second term, because Ron Paul doesn’t have to get enough votes to win, which he wouldn’t.

CAVUTO: But he has done it before in ‘88.

HUCKABEE: Well, he did, but no one knew who Ron Paul was in 1988. He has a pretty good size following.

CAVUTO: So he would get a good 2 percentage points?

HUCKABEE: He only has to get a few. He could 2 percent or 3 percent or 4 percent. Likely, he would do that.

CAVUTO: Sort of like a Ralph Nader deal. In key states, it would make a huge difference.

HUCKABEE: It would be the difference.

And if Ron Paul gets just enough to shake off some of the Republican vote, Barack Obama , I believe, would be reelected to a second term, notwithstanding how good the Republican is.

CAVUTO: Governor, real quickly, Rick Perry may not be participating in any more debates. What do you think?

HUCKABEE: Well, this is not the American League in baseball. You do not get to have a designated debater to go out and play the game for you. This is big boy stuff.

If he is not able to go and be on the stage, and he said I’m not a good debater, so I’m not going to debate, it is like saying I really cannot compete at this level, I would still like to be president. I just don’t want the pathway to get there.

I think it was a disastrous move on his part. Even if he wasn’t going to debate, the dumbest thing that his campaign could have done was to announce that he just didn’t think he could do that anymore because he wasn’t good at it.

CAVUTO: But is there any wisdom to limiting it? Even Ronald Reagan in 1980, Jimmy Carter did grant him a debate. It was only one debate, though.

But obviously that can make a difference. But these debates, I love them to death, and I’m going to be participating in the next Fox one. I’m very excited about it. But there are a lot of them.

HUCKABEE: There are a lot of them. And I think the candidates have a right to pick and choose. I wouldn’t go on certain debates if I were some of these candidates because I know that the forum is not going to be a forum...

CAVUTO: So the Nickelodeon presidential debate was to you a waste of time?

(LAUGHTER) HUCKABEE: Probably so.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: I think what he is saying there are so many of these there, but it will not jibe.

HUCKABEE: Well, I would ask this question. Are they substantive and are the hosts going to actually have a forum to get ideas out of us, or is this going to be essentially a dogfight?

CAVUTO: Good stuff. Meanwhile, I will handle the market...

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: I’m going to step out of here a while.

CAVUTO: You have got a big show tomorrow. What do you got going on?

HUCKABEE: Toby Keith is going to be with us. We have Daniel Hannan and Peter Schiff that will be in a very interesting discussion.

CAVUTO: You’re going to talk to Peter about the market?

HUCKABEE: We are.

CAVUTO: Interesting.

HUCKABEE: But we’re going to analyze what you say about them, because that is the authority that we lean on.

(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: This is why you should be president, because you can hop, skip and jump over these issues.

All right, don’t forget to catch the governor. It is a great show, when he’s not raining in on my parade.

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