This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 28, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: There it is, the number you have heard a great deal about over these last many months, the Dow closing over 13000 by five points today, something we have not seen since before President Obama won the White House.
So could this be a good harbinger for him returning to the White House?
To Virginia’s former Democratic Governor Doug Wilder.
Governor, what do you make of that? How influential will this Dow milestone be?
DOUG WILDER (D), FORMER VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: Well, Neil, it’s good to be with you all always.
CAVUTO: Same here. Same here.
WILDER: I think it’s going to be something that the president and the Democrats will herald as a good sign and a good omen.
The unfortunate thing, though, you and I know, as well as many of these people know, that the Dow itself doesn’t describe what the employment situation is, it doesn’t describe jobs, it doesn’t describe the state of the economy in its totality.
But it is a sign. There are other things, however, that are really, really on the horizon today, and that is the price of gasoline. Unless we do something -- and when I say we, I mean collectively -- not to talk about it, but to show that something can be done and to do something, the people that are being hurt are not going to be affected to the extent of seeing the Dow rise. What does that mean to them? And you and I need to find some answers from someone...
WILDER: ... to show to the American people.
CAVUTO: I’m sorry, Governor.
Because in your state they have been particularly rising rapidly, and among the highest in the nation. And this was a state that surprised a lot of people going Barack Obama’s way four years ago. Right now, the polls indicate that would be a hard act to repeat. I’m sure the gas situation is making it rougher.
Now, Republican critics, Governor, as you know, say a lot of this in on the lap of the president because he is not increasing production here and very stubborn to do so more when Keystone is used as an example. Is it his fault?
WILDER: No, it’s not his fault. And even though they say that, there is no shortage of gasoline, no shortage of oil. You and I know that.
And what is being refined in the Gulf, because even if it’s coming from the Keystone to Canada -- from Canada and going to the Gulf for refinement, it’s not going to stay here. It’s going to South America and then to China, where the demand is.
CAVUTO: So would you slap that oil from going elsewhere, right?
CAVUTO: What about tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?
WILDER: Well, if it’s necessary, surely I would tap it.
But before you -- there is no need to tap it at that point unless you say to those people who are going to benefit and profit by oil in our country going other places, unless there’s some mechanism by which they understand and need to know that us first -- you get oil depression allowances.
Many people have argued against that for years.
WILDER: To the extent that we connect the price of oil -- look at the joblessness. Surely, the Dow is up. You have got employment numbers pretty much static, even though the unemployment is down. Does it correspond with the employment numbers? Are they rising proportionately to the decrease in the numbers that are not filing?
There’s so much out there. I repeat the three things that I think are going to be connected this election. That is the economy, the economy and the economy. And that’s spelled jobs, the price of gasoline, and the economy. It’s all over. Money dictates and runs everything in this country.
CAVUTO: Well, you are right about that.
But, Governor, you talk about the economy, the economy, the economy. A lot of the administration types are saying the trend, the trend, the trend; it’s our friend, our friend, our friend. And some of them are getting cocky, thinking they almost have it in the bag. What do you think?
WILDER: Well, I think that much of the reason they feel that way -- and you and I would feel that way, too, if we were running against many of these people who are running for the Republican nomination.
CAVUTO: Yes, but eventually we will have a nominee. Right? So eventually the focus will be on that nominee.
WILDER: Precisely. And if that nominee is other than Rick -- not Rick -- Mitt Romney -- and I think Romney will ultimately be the nominee -- I think the Democrats would love to see Rick Santorum be the nominee. They would love it because...
CAVUTO: So you think that they’re foaming with up this robo-calling that’s been pinned on the Santorum folks, but at least indirectly working with the White House operatives to try to deliver Michigan for Santorum?
WILDER: I wouldn’t accuse them of doing it. But I were a White House operative, I would do nothing to discourage them.
CAVUTO: Very well put.
WILDER: I would say, right on, boys, right on.
WILDER: Of course, you and I know -- you might -- you can’t say it because you have to be fair and unbiased and not expressing an opinion.
There is no way the American people would ever elect Rick Santorum, under no circumstances.
CAVUTO: You don’t know that. You don’t know that. They used to say the same about you, that they would never elect you governor of Virginia.
WILDER: No. Yes, they said that. They said hell would freeze over.
CAVUTO: You’re right, they did say that. I was wrong.
WILDER: I think the difference is -- and I will make this difference -- and I can -- I stood for something. I didn’t run on labels. I didn’t run on religion. I didn’t run on being the most moderate or being the most liberal or the most conservative.
CAVUTO: You ticked everybody off. You ticked everybody off.
CAVUTO: All right, Governor.
WILDER: But I ran on issues.
CAVUTO: All right.
WILDER: And I think what this campaign will come down to, issues. And I think going over the Dow is a good thing for the Democrats.
CAVUTO: All right, you’re a very good man, Governor, and for both parties a good source of inspiration.
WILDER: Always good. Always good.
CAVUTO: Thank you very much, Governor Wilder.
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