Are there really better times ahead?

Rep. Kristi Noem on new economic report


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 25, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: Well, have any of you have heard or seen this?


PRESIDENT OBAMA: There are better days ahead.

There are better days ahead.

And then there are going to be better days for this country.

We will get through these tough times and better days lie ahead.


CAVUTO: All right, well, the president lately likes to say that there are indeed better days and times ahead, but what about the times you are living in right now? Growing signs that they might be slipping back to worry.

Just today, we heard durable goods orders -- these are like orders for big-ticket items like cars and washing machines -- well, they were plunging last month, suffering the biggest drop in three years, a key gauge of business spending also falling in March.

So, why is South Dakota Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem not surprised?

She joins us right now.

Congresswoman, good to see you.

Are we slipping back into something? What do you think?

REP. KRISTI NOEM, R-S.D.: Well, I don’t know if we ever got out of it, Neil.

I mean, I think Mitt Romney summed it up perfectly last night when he said it's about the economy and we're not stupid. Truly, this president's answer to everything has been he wants to tax us more and take more of our money, he wants to spend more money, and then he wants to regulate us to the point where we can’t even make a decision for ourselves. Obviously, it’s not working. And this report just shows that.

CAVUTO: All right.

Now, the president will argue and many have in the White House and beyond that, look, most of the numbers we've been getting this past year have been showing improvement, not boffo, but they’re better. And you’re going to have a bad apple now and then, and this durable goods thing might be just an example of that.

What do you say?

NOEM: Well, the durable goods report is a volatile report, but also with the lower jobs numbers, the housing numbers, we've had several of them that indicate, certainly, we’re not into the better days like he is - - the president has been referencing.

He’s had plenty of time to get us in a better position than this. And we all really need to be asking ourselves, are we better off than we were three years ago? The president promised America that he was going to deliver for us or he didn't deserve to be reelected. And I hope we remember that and we think about that before we go to the ballot box in November.

CAVUTO: Polls being what they are, Congresswoman, are all over the map, but most -- not all, but most seem to show that, your concerns notwithstanding, the president's in pretty good shape in swing states and battleground states, states like Ohio, and Wisconsin, that have seen improving unemployment rate trends, and that that is going to be the wind at his back and reflective of polls that show him leading Mitt Romney now.

What do you make of that?

NOEM: Well, I think that what we need to do is we truly need to deliver the facts. The president stands up and says a lot of things that are not necessarily true. He twists the facts to put himself in a better light.

I’m really hoping that as we go forward and Mitt Romney goes forward into this campaign that simply the American people are smart people and they can see their lives, they can see where their money is going and deliver the facts on what's happening to this economy.

I look at my kids. We talk about bailouts and we talk about these companies, taxpayer dollars being spent. Who's going to bail out my kids someday? We have $15.6 trillion in debt in this country. The president’s plan is to continue that trend, and set record paces of spending in the country. My kids are going to pay for that. Who will bail them out, Neil?

CAVUTO: All right, speaking of your kids -- I am sure they are a little too young to worry about this right now -- but Mitt Romney agrees with President Obama that we should extend this freeze on rates for college loans, for fear that if we don’t they’re going to effectively double, not all of them, but a good many of them.

And that has some conservatives in your party worried that he really is showing his more moderate, if not liberal stripes, that that’s a big government initiative and one we don’t need. What do you say?

NOEM: Well, you know I've had a lot of constituents come to me over the last year- and-a-half and tell me that they are paying higher interest rates than what they could get in the private market right now.

So it is a concern. We do not want them to double, but I think that we really need to make sure that we’re not setting up another bailout situation where the taxpayers are continuing to carry this battle.

CAVUTO: Well, that's what you are doing.

NOEM: Yes.

CAVUTO: But that's what Mitt Romney would be doing, so he is endorsing something that would seem to be an anathema to certainly the Tea Partiers within your party. Right?

NOEM: Yeah.

Well, we need a fix. We need a fix long term. And I'll tell you what. More government control, this was part of the health care bill, and this is a result of something that this president’s vision was for our student loan industry. We need to lay the responsibility right at their feet and then we need to fix it.

And we all need to recognize that having the government step in and make decisions for us that they shouldn't be making is bad for this country, and it’s bad for our kids and this is a perfect example.

CAVUTO: So do you agree or not with Mitt Romney on keeping this freeze in rates in effect another year?

NOEM: I want a fix. I want to fix the problem.

I think a short-term extension doesn't fix the problem. I really don’t want these interest rates to go up. I’m always interested in making sure that we go back in and that we keep things competitive and fair for our kids.

CAVUTO: All right, Congresswoman, thank you very much.

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