Gov. Perry: Administration acts 'imperialistically'

Texas governor sounds off


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 23, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: Forget this battle over cattle in Nevada. Is the government now trying to mess with Texas?

Republican Governor Rick Perry here now.

Welcome, everyone. I'm Stuart Varney, in for Neil Cavuto. This is "Your World."

And the battle between that Nevada rancher and the federal government putting the spotlight on another potential land grab, this one in Northern Texas, at issue, reports that the Bureau of Land Management may be preparing to claim 90,000 acres along the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma as public domain, land that has been privately owned for generations.

The Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott daring the feds to come in and take it.

How now first on Fox, the state's Republican governor on this fed fight, Rick Perry with us now.

Governor, welcome to the program.

GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS: Good to be with you, Stuart. Thank you.

VARNEY: Sounds like a dare from the attorney general, come and get it. That's a challenge, isn't it?

PERRY: Greg Abbott is a very powerful and -- and thoughtful attorney general who is obviously going to be the next governor of the state of Texas.

And -- and he is on the right side of this issue, not just for the people of the state of Texas. He's on the right side of this issue from a private -- private standpoint, from the private property rights standpoint. And I don't think Americans want to see another one of these exhibitions from the federal government of them coming in with armed troops over an issue that ought to be taken care of with a little common sense, when you think about it.

VARNEY: Do you -- do you approve of that kind of language, come and get it?

PERRY: Well...

VARNEY: It is a dare.


VARNEY: It is a flat-out Texas challenge.

PERRY: Actually, it's -- it's not a dare. It's a promise that we're going to stand up for private property rights in the state of Texas.

And I -- I don't -- I don't have a problem in the world with Attorney General Abbott's words here. But the key on this from my standpoint, Stuart, is the federal government already owns too much land. We ought to be having a conversation in this country about how can the federal government divest itself of a huge amount of this land holdings it has across the country...


PERRY: ... rather than being looking for ways to come in and take over private property that's been in the people's land in generations.

VARNEY: It is private property?

PERRY: From my perspective, it is private property.

VARNEY: They -- the Bureau of Land Management says, look, this is in the -- this is the public domain.

PERRY: Yes. Yes.

VARNEY: It has been for -- since the mid-1980s, or at least parts of it.

PERRY: Yes. Well, then the government is going to come back and say, you know what? Mexico used to own the state of Texas, so let's have a conversation about where the rightful ownership of this is.

Or we go back with the -- the Native Americans and have -- are we -- are we going to relitigate every piece of private property that we have got in this country because we have a federal government that's out of control?

VARNEY: So, how do you view the statement of Senator Harry Reid? He described the people who are standing up to the feds coming in, he described them as domestic terrorists. Just for one moment, Governor, I would like to roll that piece of tape so everybody can hear it again.



SEN. HARRY REID, D-NV., MAJORITY LEADER: So, these people, who hold themselves out to be patriots, are not. They're nothing more than domestic terrorists.


VARNEY: Not patriots, domestic terrorists. Strong language.

Your response?

PERRY: It is.

I would suggest that Senator Reid spend a little more time in Nevada and get out of Washington, D.C., and go visit with those people that he's disparaging. I -- I think that's very unfortunate language and -- and, frankly, not something that you would want a leader in America saying about the citizens of this country.

VARNEY: Do you have a problem with guys with guns getting together and opposing federal force?

PERRY: Well, here's the bigger issue.

I have a problem with the federal government putting citizens in the position of having to feel like they have to use force to deal with their own government. That's the bigger issue. And -- and that's the reason I think that the -- the Bureau of Land Management needs to really be careful about coming -- whether it's Nevada or Texas or Oklahoma or whatever state it might be -- and acting like that private property is something that they control and that they are going to be able to make the decision about who this belongs to.

We have a -- we're a rule of law country. And private property is at the base of it. And unless the federal government respects that, then I will suggest to you that they are the ones that are instigating the opportunity for misfortune to happen.


Let me read to you this statement from the Bureau of Land Management, which they gave to I'm reading it verbatim now.

"The BLM, Bureau of Land Management, is categorically not expanding federal holdings along the Red River."

They directly contest the view that it's private property.


Well, you know, I think we have an administration that acts imperialistically. And I have seen it too many times out of this president, this administration. And I think we're seeing an extension of that in -- in BLM.

VARNEY: Welcome to New York, Governor.


VARNEY: I hear that you are here to challenge Governor Cuomo, a Democrat, governor of New York, and you are challenging him on the basis of, your taxes are too high, you're killing the economy of New York. Bring those jobs down to Texas.

That's what you're here for, isn't it, a direct challenge?

PERRY: I'm here to give people the opportunity to relocate or expand their business to state of Texas.

VARNEY: What response have you gotten so far?

PERRY: Well, not much from the governor's office. Good response, though, from business men and women we had the opportunity to meet with.

There's two issues going on here. I don't make any apologies that I'm a competitive governor and I come in to California or Illinois or for any other state, just as Bobby Jindal and -- and Rick Scott come into Texas and say, hey, we would like for you to take a look at Louisiana or take a look at Florida. Those are two really competitive governors out there.

And there's a host of others that are very competitive. What Mary Fallin does, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley, those are governors that get it about tax, regulatory, legal policies and having a skilled work force in place and making your state be competitive.

I happen to think that our founding fathers knew what they were talking about when they discussed that 10th Amendment and said, you know, the federal government is supposed to do a few things, do it very well, enumerate those powers, and then you states work out all these other things, which says to me, let's compete against each other.

Who has got the best tax policy? Who has got the best regulatory climate? Who has got the best legal system for the people of your state? And then people will move and go to where they want to go. And if that's the test, more people have migrated out of New York and California over the last decade than any two states to go to places where they can find some relief.

VARNEY: You are -- you're a missionary on jobs and taxes to the state of New York.


VARNEY: What about the issue of fracking? Fracking is alive and well in Texas, and you're doing very well with it.

PERRY: Well, it is.

VARNEY: But it's on hold in New York.

PERRY: And it shouldn't be.

VARNEY: Do you think you can convince New York's governor, the state legislature, the regulators of New York, do you think you could convince them to get out there and frack for what's under the ground there?

PERRY: Here's what I can share with them, that it is a safe practice, that all of the science shows that it is a safe practice.

And if you care about your citizens, the southern part of New York, it's almost Appalachian in places, the poverty that's there, and the jobs that could be created are a fascinating amount of jobs. There are young Hispanics in South Texas who maybe five or six years ago, Stuart, didn't have a job or maybe had a minimum wage job today making $100,000 driving a truck in that Eagle Ford Formation, because the state of Texas has decided to -- to produce the resources that have -- you know, God's put under the land in Texas.

And we have created an extraordinary amount of wealth, not just for the oil companies and not just for the states.


You're a missionary on taxes and jobs and on fracking.

PERRY: Amen.


How about immigration? I want to run a brief sound bite from Jeb Bush and what he had to say about it.

PERRY: Right.

VARNEY: Right. And then I will get your comment.

Roll tape, please.


JEB BUSH, R-FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: They cross the border because they have no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law. But it's not a felony. It's kind of a -- it's a -- it's a -- it's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family.


VARNEY: Just concentrate on that one expression. It's an act of love. What's your response to that, that one expression?


Well, I think this is a conversation that has been going on for lots of years. I think there's been a lot of heated rhetoric on both sides. And, hopefully, common sense will come into play here, as we see what's actually happening and -- and it's on the energy side of things.

I think the bigger issue for us as we go forward is that the immigration issue may be one that's fixing to change, and change in a big way, because Mexico is about to liberalize their energy policies. And we're going to see a great outflow of individuals.

VARNEY: But is it an act of love, Governor...

PERRY: You know...

VARNEY: ... when someone comes across that border to feed their family? Is that an act of love?

PERRY: I think, in a lot of cases, it's about, I want to be able to take care of my family.

And for 40 years, we have sent the message that...


PERRY: We have sent the message that, come on over, it's OK, don't worry about breaking the law.

And then, all of a sudden, the rules get changed, 9/11 occurs, and we have drug cartels.

VARNEY: So you have -- so you have got some sympathy for Jeb Bush's position?

PERRY: I have sympathy.

VARNEY: For his emotions? PERRY: I totally understand about people breaking a law to take care of their family, particularly when the country whose law you're breaking has for 40 years basically said, come on over, don't worry about it.

And we did that. And we have to stand up and -- and truthfully say that that was the message all too often through the '60s, '70s, '80s, and even the '90s. That's the message we sent to individuals in Mexico. Come on over here. We need your work.

And then, in the 2000s, it was like, wait a minute. We have got drug cartels. We have got people who want to do terrible things to America in the form of terrorists. And now we're going to ship everybody back to where they're from.

VARNEY: I have to ask the question which everybody asks you, so I will phrase it in a different way. Have you thought seriously about running again for the presidency?

PERRY: Oh, absolutely.

VARNEY: You have given it serious consideration?


PERRY: I have given it serious consideration. It is a -- it's an option that, in 2015, we will make.



Governor Rick Perry, what a pleasure.

PERRY: Good to be with you, Stuart.


VARNEY: Thanks very much for joining us, sir. We appreciate it.

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