Interviews

Texas, Fla. governors 'fishing' for top spot in job creation

Govs. Perry, Scott speak out

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," August 13, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, America on the job hunt, and now the governors of what many consider the two most business-friendly states in the nation are duking it out for the top spot.

And exactly, how are they doing this? Well, with a friendly fishing competition.

Earlier, I asked Texas Governor Rick Perry if he is worried Florida Governor Rick Scott may be nipping at his heels.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS: I'm not worried about it, but it's one of the things I'm proud of is that the governors have put tax and regulatory and legal policies into place.

You know, Bobby Jindal over on our eastern shore is one that really puts the pressure on. You got Susana Martinez over on the western side of New Mexico and Mary Fallin in Oklahoma. And so I'm surrounded some by people who get it about economic development.

But it just makes us work that much harder. We passed lose or pay this past session of the legislature. We're not just sitting over there with our feet propped up in Texas. We're working hard to be even more competitive.

CAVUTO: Are you worried, though, Governor?

GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA.: Now, we both don't have an income tax.

CAVUTO: That's right.

(CROSSTALK)

SCOTT: Are you worried? That was the question. How much are you worried?

Now, we cut property taxes over $200 million. We cut the business tax for two-thirds of the companies that were paying it, cut 1,700 regulations.

So are you getting worried yet?

PERRY: Well, I wouldn't say I'm worried, but I pay attention. I think that's what all governors do, or they should be doing if they're going to represent the people well.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Well, Governor Perry, do you pay attention to the fact that for some reason you haven't been invited to speak at the convention, but that guy next to you has?

SCOTT: I wonder why.

(LAUGHTER)

PERRY: It's his good looks; I think is what it was.

(LAUGHTER)

SCOTT: Now, hey, Neil, I just want to make sure. We have a trophy today for this tournament, and I just wanted to give it to Governor Perry.

He's won at a lot of things in life. But today he did -- we don't count the fact he had a red snapper...

(CROSSTALK)

PERRY: The biggest fish was caught Texas...

(CROSSTALK)

SCOTT: But as far as...

(CROSSTALK)

SCOTT: Number two. So far, it's one of few things that I have been able to beat Governor Perry at.

PERRY: Thanks. That's...

SCOTT: You really appreciate this?

PERRY: I really appreciate that.

When you can put us at number two at job creation, then I expect a really big trophy.

SCOTT: Yes, that would be a good...

(CROSSTALK)

PERRY: That'll be a good one.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Well, maybe the trophy -- again, again, Governor Perry, then, well, maybe that trophy, without sounding like a party spoiler, will make up for the fact that you're not being invited to speak at the convention, and he is. That doesn't bother you?

PERRY: It's a great honor for me to get to lead the Texas delegation. So I don't get hung up on whether I'm going to be speaking or not.

I think what Governor Romney wants me to do is to go across this country and talk about the economic policies and what he and Paul Ryan are going to do for this country. And that's -- that's what really matters. I don't get hung up on who's going to be speaking and what slot or what time.

SCOTT: And we're talking – we're all talking about what Texas has done. Texas has been number one for eight years in job creation.

We're all -- all of us that want to build jobs, we're doing what Texas has done, making it better for business people. Business people create jobs, lower taxes, less regulation and less litigation.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Governor Scott, I know that. Then you would want to showcase that at the convention. And the guy next to you should be showcased. And he's not being showcased.

(LAUGHTER)

SCOTT: I will probably have to talk about him a little bit.

PERRY: Yeah, that's good.

CAVUTO: Will you?

(LAUGHTER)

SCOTT: Well, look, I will talk about what Texas is doing and what Florida is doing and what Bobby Jindal's doing.

We're competing and we are competing within the global market. We have to make sure our states and our country -- this race will be about jobs. And Governor Romney, Congressman Ryan, they're the right team to make sure that the federal government does what we're doing in our states.

And give us our power back. Let us know figure out to fix our states. We don't want a centralized, Soviet-style government. We want to have 50 laboratories. And we'll figure it out. If Governor Perry does something better, I'm going to try to do it, emulate it and maybe do it a little bit better.

CAVUTO: But, Governor Scott, to that point, Governor Scott, to that point, you mentioned Paul Ryan. Many argue that he's an anathema in your state, that a lot of seniors don't like his Medicare prescription plan. They think he's anti-elderly. You've heard all of the rap against him. Did this pick by Mitt Romney hurt the GOP's chances of carrying your state this November?

PERRY: Not at all.

SCOTT: Let's remember, this is going to be Governor Romney's plan. We're going to work with Governor Romney. He has a plan to make sure the seniors get taken care of.

We have 3.3 million Medicare recipients in our state. I'm going to work tirelessly and I'm sure Governor Perry will do the same thing in Texas to make sure our Medicare recipients continue to get care. That's the key here. We've got to continue to make sure they get care.

But we will balance our budget. We're going to do all the right things to make this the best place to do business.

CAVUTO: But, Governor Scott, do you support what Paul Ryan wants to do?

I will get to you, Governor Perry, on this.

But on this issue, particularly in Florida, are you open to the type, the paring back in Medicare and switching to a private voucher system that Paul Ryan wants for Medicare recipients down the road?

SCOTT: Let's all remember, it's going to be Governor Romney's plan.

CAVUTO: I know that.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But are you for that? Are you for that?

SCOTT: I'm going to support -- I am going to support a plan that makes sure our Medicare recipients -- we have 3.3 million of them in Florida.

I'm going to make sure they continue to get care. They paid into the system, and we've to make sure we keep that system going.

CAVUTO: All right, Governor Perry, what do you think?

PERRY: I think that's the real issue here is that people who are on Social Security, the folks that are having their Medicaid that's still going to be there for them.

The Democrats will try to scare people and say, oh, they will tear it away from you. No, we're not.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: What would the cutoff age then be, Governor Perry? What do you think it would need?

PERRY: What we will do is in the out years people like my children that are 29 and 26 years old, they know that if we leave the system in place that's there today, they will not be – it's not going to be there for them.

The idea that we ought to sit back and just say, oh, we can't touch any of these and we ought to not talk about them, and we shouldn't be projecting out into the future how to save programs for our children and our grandchildren is just nonsense.

The idea that we ought not be having that conversation is not correct. We should and I think the American people by and large will not buy into the scare tactics that the Obama administration and his flacks will be out trying to put across. They know...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But you did mention, Governor Perry -- you mentioned, Governor Perry, that 26- and 29-year-olds they should sort of given an opportunity to have something down the road.

For them, would that be the cutoff age then, that if you are that young, that you should be veering toward a different type of a system, because Paul Ryan has his much older than that, in the 40s right now.

PERRY: Well, I think you ought to – we're going to have the conversation. And the idea that we're going to draw up a piece of legislation here in August of 2012 is not correct.

We're not going to do that. Let's have the conversation, though, and start a dialogue between the people of this country. One of the things that Governor Scott said that is so important; who do you want making the decisions for you? Do you want a centralized Washington, D.C., federal government making those decisions?

Or should you push those back into the states and allow people who are closer to the people to make those decisions on a host of issues, whether it's education, whether it's transportation infrastructure, whether it's health care?

We have got Obama and his administration that think all of those decisions need to be made in Washington, D.C. We disagree with that. And I think most Americans do too.

CAVUTO: Governor Scott, your state...

SCOTT: This election is going to be about jobs.

CAVUTO: I think you are right about that.

But, in the end, gentlemen -- and particularly Governor Scott, in your state and some of the improvements you have seen, much as Governor Perry has seen in his state, do you think the president benefits? Obviously, Texas is a harder pull for Democrats.

But, in your state, the president leads in statewide polls, maybe, some Republicans say, because of what you've done as governor, and that the president is going to benefit from that in November. What do you think of that?

SCOTT: Well, just, look, there's only going to be one poll that matters. It's going to be the election in November.

And Governor Romney will get his plan out. It's going to be a plan to get our state back to work. I got elected on a very similar campaign. Our state elected me to make the tough choices and get our state back to work. And guess what? It works, the biggest drop in unemployment, other than one state, in the last 18 months, 40 percent of people on unemployment are off unemployment today, 127,000 private sector jobs.

That's what people are going to vote for, and that's why Governor Romney's going to become the next president of the United States.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CAVUTO: All right, we shall see.

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