This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 4, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." We are broadcasting from Addison, Texas, tonight. And earlier today, former Governor Rick Perry announced that he is running for the White House. He will be our guest tonight for the entire hour.
But first, here's how it all went down earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS, FMR. GOV., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know that America has experienced great change, but what it means to be an American has never changed.
We are a resilient country. You think about who we are. We've been through a civil war. We've been through two world wars. We've been through a Great Depression. We even made it through Jimmy Carter! We will make it through the Obama years!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
We will do this. We get back up. We dust ourselves off. We move forward. And you know what? We will do it again!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
To the one in five children in families who are on food stamps, to the one in seven Americans living in poverty, to the one in ten workers who are unemployed, underemployed or just given up hope of finding a job, I hear you. You are not forgotten!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
We have the power to make things new again, to project America's strength again and to get our economy going again!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And that is exactly why today, I am running for the presidency of the United States of America!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Joining us now, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, former Texas governor Rick Perry, your governor!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
HANNITY: Governor, great to see you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our hero!
HANNITY: OK. Hi.
You said in your speech today, We don't need to settle. We don't need to apologize for American exceptionalism. We don't need to settle for slow growth. We don't need to settle for debt. We don't need to rob our kids. You're going to stop this theft.
America's in a tough spot now.
PERRY: Well, they are. I mean, and there's reason for Americans to be a little pessimistic. But as I shared with the people in that speech, we're a resilient people. We have been through a lot of tough things together, a civil war, two world wars. We went through a Great Depression. I shared with people, you know, we made it through Jimmy Carter, we'll make it through these Obama years.
But it is that sense of who we are, what we've been through. We're resilient, that we can make it through anything. And it is -- America is an exceptional country. There's nobody delivered freedom around the world more than Americans have. We ought to be proud of that. We ought never apologize for that. And we ought to be America again!
HANNITY: You know, it's -- you ran in 2012. And the last time I interviewed you, you said you weren't ready. You even said -- and I never heard a politician use the word you thought you were being a little arrogant, thinking that you were the governor of Texas. And then you said you had prepped for three-and-a-half years.
What did you mean by all that?
PERRY: Well, I knew that if I was going to give myself the opportunity to run for the presidency that I had to be prepared. This is not something that just, you know, comes by reading a book. There's an extraordinary amount of preparation that requires, whether it's monetary policy or whether it's domestic policy, whether it's foreign policy.
Yes, executive experience is important. I mean, the things that you learn being an executive, you know, whether it was the space shuttle disintegration, whether it was Hurricanes Rita, Katrina, Ike, whether it was Ebola, whether it was the border crisis, all of those help build a foundation of a leader.
But the preparation on things that you don't deal with every day is I think where you're going to see and you have seen the real change in the maturity of my process of being ready to be the commander-in-chief on day one.
HANNITY: So big difference between now and 2012.
PERRY: Oh, absolutely.
HANNITY: You said leadership is not a speech on the Senate floor. Executive experience matters. I think maybe some of your opponents in this primary race might take that as a shot. What did you mean?
PERRY: Well, I never mean that to be a shot. There's some amazing talent out there. When you look at the men and women who have either announced that they're going to run for the candidacy or probably will, this is a very, very talented field.
What I mean is that we need to look at the full record of people who want to be the commander-in-chief. We've just had six-and-a-half and we'll have had 8 years of a young, inexperienced United States senator. And I happen to think, and I think most people agree, that we're paying a huge price economically and on the world stage today from an inexperienced individual.
This isn't about what you say, it's about what you do. Let's look at the record. Let's look at people's record. Let's look at their experience. Whether you're having heart surgery or whether you're getting on an airplane, I think you want the most experienced person in either one of those. Why not have the most experienced person you can have as the leader of this country?
HANNITY: You said, Show me, don't tell me. What have -- where have you led? You said that will define your entire race. Tell us your Texas story.
PERRY: Well, I laid that out for the folks in the speech, as well, when we talked about Americans have seen me leading before. They saw me lead when the space shuttle disintegrated over east Texas. They saw me lead when multiple hurricanes came into this country. They saw me lead when I opened up this state to massive amounts of people from Louisiana when that governor called and said, I've got to move these people. Can you handle them? I didn't call somebody and say, Can we handle them, I said, Send them. That's the type of executive leadership people are looking for.
When Ebola came on to the United States, it happened to be in Dallas, Texas. They saw how we responded to that, how Dr. Brejoua (ph) and how Dr. David Lakey (ph), they took the lead on that, and they gave confidence that there was competency in Texas to deal with that.
On the border, when the president of the United States even refused to come see the challenge that we had, that president then in turn saw that there can be a real leader. And this is the way that you lead. I deployed our National Guard. I made sure that our people were safe.
That's what I mean about here is a record of leadership. It's not about a speech. It's not about, Here's what I would do. Here's what I have done.
HANNITY: Let me ask you about immigration. It became an issue in 2012 -- because I was down at the border with you, and the president didn't go to that security briefing. I sat in that briefing with you. I've been down to the border...
PERRY: Yes, sir.
HANNITY: ... at least a dozen times, up close and personal. I've seen the problem. One issue that came up in 2012, it was a bit of an issue for you, in a law that supported the kids of illegals to have lower in- state tuition rates.
HANNITY: Where do you stand on it now, considering immigration's such a big, important issue and debate now in this primary?
PERRY: Every state has to deal with these issues that they face by virtue of what Washington has put into place. Whether it's health care, whether it's education reforms, all of those have to be dealt with state by state. Texas looked at this issue and they made that decision, overwhelmingly made that issue -- made that decision.
But here's the more important thing for me. All of these issues are secondary to securing the border. If you do not have the will and secure this border, these issues are never going to be addressed, they're never going to be fixed, if you will.
And that's what I promise the American people -- because I know how to do this -- one of the first things we will do is to clearly put a plan in place to secure that border, put the personnel on the border, the strategic fencing in place, the aviation assets so that that 1,800-mile border from Tijuana to El Paso, El Paso to Brownsville is secure, and the American people will know that it's secure.
And at that particular point in time, then we can have a conversation about how immigration reform needs to be conducted, and what have you. But not until then. I mean, I just flat refuse to have a conversation about all of these various issues that are out there until Americans are satisfied that there is a president that understands one thing, you cannot have national security until you have border security.
HANNITY: Governor, we're going to get into all national security issues, your plan for the economy. We're going to talk about some of your opponents and maybe on the Democrat and on the Republican side.
I want to ask you this. You are still under indictment. I've interviewed you about it. You are fierce in defending yourself. But it's still a challenge as a presidential candidate. What do you say to people that will bring that up on the campaign trail?
PERRY: Well, I have full -- I have full confidence that the court's going to rule in our favor. And as I said...
HANNITY: Explain the case, though, because this is involving...
PERRY: This was a district attorney who has oversight for all statewide elected officials in Austin, Texas, the most blue area in the state of Texas. I mean, this is a radical Democrat area of the state.
This agency has been headed up by a district attorney who was stopped on a DWI, I think blew almost three times the legal limit. And $7.5 million of state funding go to that agency. I completely lost confidence that that individual should have control of that money. I said at particular point in time, I lost faith that the state dollars would go there, and that it was the prerogative of the governor to veto a piece of legislation and veto a line item for whatever reason.
HANNITY: And there was also a video, by the way...
PERRY: And I did that.
HANNITY: ... of her being belligerent with the police officers.
PERRY: There is. I mean, overwhelming evidence of this individual. And certainly lost my confidence and I think lost the confidence of -- I mean, the video speaks for itself. I would do what I did again, faced with the same. Then a Travis County district attorney, they dealt with that.
But here's the more important issue. I have full confidence the courts are going to deal with this. We're talking about the future of America, how to get this country back working, how to give Americans confidence that there is somebody in the White House that, number one, understands what they've been through, and this boy from Paint Creek, Texas, who grew up in a house that, you know, still used an outhouse and my mom bathed us in a number two washtub -- I understand what working men and women are going through today.
And I understand that we've got to get this corporate tax rate lowered so that we can bring jobs back on shore so that the working men and women and the union members can see their wages raised.
PERRY: Use American energy to create a renaissance in the manufacturing arena like we've never seen before. That's what Americans really care about, and that's what I'm going to stay focused on.
HANNITY: We're going to talk more about that. More with Governor Perry when we come back.
And up next, tonight here on "Hannity"...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: Weakness at home has led to weakness abroad. The world has descended into a chaos of this president's own making.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: We're going to ask Governor Perry when we come back what his foreign policy agenda's going to be, what the Perry doctrine will be if he's elected to be our next commander-in-chief.
And then later tonight, you, our viewers -- you get a chance to get in on the action. You've been sending in questions on Facebook and Twitter all day long. We're going to ask the Governor Perry -- we're going to ask the governor some of those questions and much more as we continue tonight from Addison, Texas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: Weakness at home has led to weakness abroad. The world has descended into a chaos of this president's own making, while his White House loyalists, they construct an alternative universe where ISIS is contained, that Ramadi is merely a setback, where the nature of the enemy can't be acknowledged for fear of causing offense, where the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, can be trusted to live up to a nuclear agreement!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: That was former Texas governor Rick Perry earlier today talking about the dangers that we face today, thanks to the Obama administration's failed foreign policies.
And we continue now with the governor. All right, if we were going to lay out the biggest threats that we face -- you talked about Iran today. You said your first item agenda, if you became president, is?
PERRY: To rescind that agreement, if the president does sign, that allows a nuclear Iran. All that will do is guarantee the development of a Sunni bomb, which will at that particular point in time make the entire Middle East an incredibly dangerous place. It's already a dangerous place, but this will make it an even substantially more dangerous place.
So sending a clear message that we are not going to allow a rogue nation like Iran -- I mean, this is the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world. These are the people that murdered our Marines in Beirut. These are the people that supplied the weapons, Sean, that killed our soldiers in Iraq. This is a country that literally in the last six weeks, we had a naval blockade keeping their weapons from going to the Houthi rebels!
So how in the world would we even think for a moment we can trust these people with a nuclear agreement? So stopping that. But it's not just about stopping it. It's also sending the message to our allies in that region, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Israel.
They will clearly see that there is a president that they can count on again, someone who understands how to connect the dots, because when you think about Libya, Egypt, Syria, and then obviously, as Vladimir Putin was watching all of this, his move in to Crimea and into the Ukraine clearly was because they realized that this is not a president that's willing to stand up and support the allies in the region.
HANNITY: Add to that, now we have the Chinese and their territorial ambitions are now emerging.
PERRY: And an entire region of the world, the South China Sea in particular, I'll suggest to you that both with North Korea, with China, and certainly the aggressive stance that China has taken with these islands -- we need to be developing not only a clear message in that part of the world -- for instance, with India. I don't think we have spent the time and the effort with India to build a relationship there. We had the opportunity to. They wanted to buy fighters from us. They ended up buying French Mirages.
This administration -- again, I think it's a lack of experience and I think it's a lack of being able to connect the dots in different parts of the world about what effect the decisions that we make are having on entire regions.
This focus on getting an agreement with Iran is overshadowing every decision in the Middle East. And I think one of the reasons that you see ISIS now controlling more land than the United Kingdom, taking over cities that our young men and women died for -- that goes back to a decision that this president has made, and a bad decision that he's going to get a deal with Iran. He's going to be the president to sign a deal. Nobody else could sit and negotiate with these guys. I can. And that mentality is dangerous.
HANNITY: It's very interesting. And you talked about both Vietnam and the 5,000 Americans -- nearly 5,000 that lost their lives in Iraq and many others -- tens of thousands that were injured here.
Every presidential candidate has been asked the question, knowing what you know now -- I wonder if that's really the right question. Would we go into Iraq? You've answered it publicly, so I know your answer. Is the better question, knowing what we know now, was it right to pull out of Iraq that allowed Ramadi and Mosul and Fallujah and Tikrit to fall into the hands of ISIS?
PERRY: You're absolutely correct. I think -- you know, I'm not going to try to get into people's heads and question why they ask that question of all of the Republican candidates. But you're totally spot on. The proper question in today's world is, Knowing what you know today, Madam Secretary, Mr. President, would you have pulled those troops out of Iraq in 2009?
HANNITY: Interesting that the media would ask that question. I agree with you. Knowing the threat of radical Islam and ISIS, how would a President Perry deal with this? What is the best way to deal with this?
PERRY: Americans are really concerned about their safety at home now. We've seen ISIS-inspired individuals show up in Garland, Texas. We have seen or have reports of these other individuals right here in our homeland. So obviously, having the ability to track these individuals, to know how they're communicating, who they're communicating with, is a very important part of a strategy.
The other strategy is obviously offshore. And it is in the Middle East with our allies. It is putting together a coalition with Jordan, with Saudi Arabia, with Turkey, with Egypt, with Israel, with our allies in that region, and to ferret out both with our intelligence capability and then, obviously, with our military ability to go in and literally eliminate ISIS. We can do this.
HANNITY: You talked about data gathering, which we now have had a big debate in the House and Senate. I talked to Jim Sensenbrenner. He wrote the Patriot Act, the USA Freedom Act. And he told me that the Patriot Act specifically prohibited the type of data mining that was going on.
As you balance national security and civil liberties, where do you come down on that and the 4th Amendment?
PERRY: Well, there's been a balancing act since this country was founded by our civil liberties and keeping our country safe, and it hasn't changed in all of these years. So finding the balance so that the average citizen knows that when they're talking to their wife or their business acquaintance, it's not being listened to by somebody in Washington, D.C.
And if there is an agency that's doing that, we need to be able to prosecute them with the most powerful arm that we have in our government and make them pay a price for it.
But on the other side of that, we need to be able -- we need to be smart enough to use all of our technology to listen in when people are going to try to do harm to our citizens, coordinate between agencies of government. One of the things that we found out after 9/11 was we weren't talking to each other. And we've made some great strides in local law enforcement being able to talk to federal law enforcement, being able to talk to the military.
I will suggest to you there's probably still some areas of coordination that we could do there, Sean, that would help us. But balancing this out -- Americans ought to -- Americans should never wonder whether or not the federal government is digging around in their IRS records for political reasons or whether they're listening in on conversations.
This administration has done a lot to really hurt people's faith in government. I want to get back to a time when we trust government, the government is there to protect us and not have to be looking out over our shoulder all the time about what government's doing to us.
HANNITY: You talked about government intrusion a lot in this speech. We're going to talk about that when we get back. We'll continue more with Governor Perry.
And also coming up as we continue from Texas tonight, right here on "Hannity"...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: It's time. It's time to create real jobs, to raise wages to create opportunity for all, to give every citizen a stake in this country, to restore hope, real hope, real hope to forgotten Americans!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And up next, former Texas governor Rick Perry will explain how he plans to turn around this ailing economy.
And later, we'll ask him some of the questions you have sent us on Facebook and Twitter, what he thinks about, well, maybe Hillary Clinton and some of his Republican rivals. That's all coming up, straight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: It's time. It's time to create real jobs, to raise wages, to create opportunity for all, to give every citizen a stake in this country, to restore hope, real hope, real hope to forgotten Americans. You know, there are millions of middle class families who have just given up hope of getting ahead, millions of workers out there who have given up hope of finding a job.
And yes, it's time for a reset, time to reset the relationship between government and citizen!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: That was former Texas governor Rick Perry talking about the need to help every American family get back on track financially.
He joins us now with much more, with a few of his friends and fans here.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
HANNITY: You know, I've asked this same question to every candidate so far that I've had a chance to interview. The next president of the United States is going to inherit $20 trillion in debt. Obama will have accumulated more debt than every president before him combined, 60 million Americans -- nearly 50 million in poverty, 93 million Americans out of the labor force. We've had 40 million Americans for 46 consecutive months that were in -- in -- on food stamps.
This is a daunting economic problem. And on top of that, $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities. How would you get this country back on track?
PERRY: As I said in my remarks, this is going to be a, Show me, don't tell me, election. And I think you got to look at people's records. It's not going to be good enough to say, Here's what I would do. I think you got to look at, Here's what I have done.
And there is a model for this country that I think, if you will put the tax and regulatory policies into place that we put into the 12th largest economy in the world over the last 14 years in Texas -- and it is unquestionable that it was successful.
And that's the kind of leadership we need this country, to be able to lower that corporate tax rate, to be able to use the energy policies, to be able to reduce those regulations that give disincentives for people to work. And a president has the ability to do that working with Congress. I mean, I'll find those economic ways to reach across the aisle and work with the Democrats and the Republicans.
HANNITY: As governor of Texas, how many jobs did you create, and how did you create them?
PERRY: Well, the businessmen and women of Texas saw that they weren't going to be overtaxed, overregulated. We passed the most sweeping tort reform in the nation. And they knew that there would be a skilled work force. Sean, we went to 27th in the nation in high school graduation rate in 2003 to second highest graduation rate. As a matter of fact, if you're Hispanic in Texas, you are living in the state that has the highest graduation rate in America.
Those four things together sent the message to men and women who risk their capital that they would have a good chance to have a return on their investment, that they would not be spending too much time at the courthouse, that they could find the health care affordable, that they knew that the skilled workforce -- when Toyota moved their North American headquarters out of Torrance, California, to Plano, they did their homework. They came to see if the skilled work force was going to be there -- Apple, eBay, Facebook. All of those companies that came to Texas and expanded, they did their homework.
HANNITY: For a while, I was beginning to think you were a New Yorker because you were in my radio and TV studio because you were there -- you were up in New York a lot...
PERRY: Well, I was...
HANNITY: ... lobbying companies to move down here.
PERRY: Competition's a good thing. Rick Scott was doing the same thing for the last four years in his state of Florida. Bobby Jindal was doing the same thing.
HANNITY: They were all up there.
PERRY: Nikki Haley was doing the same thing.
HANNITY: I felt like they were all my governor.
PERRY: And you know what? That's the beauty of this whole 10th Amendment and getting these states to compete against each other and giving them the freedom to.
You can't expect Washington, D.C., to come up with one-size-fits-all education policy. I mean, that's the reason I'm against Common Core. Leave it to the states to come up with the health care policies, the education policies, the transportation policies that will make their states be more competitive. And then people will decide where they want to live.
HANNITY: How do we end -- if this president -- the numbers are pretty clear. He will have accumulated almost as much debt, if not more, than every other president before him combined. I understand your argument about growing the economy. That's going to help people get back to work.
PERRY: And you got to cut spending, too. It's two things.
HANNITY: I mean, how do you -- when you cut spending, you're talking about eliminating baseline budgeting, real dollars cuts...
PERRY: Listen, I've been through this before. In 2003, Texas had a $10 billion budget shortfall. In 2011, we had an over $25 billion budget shortfall. I understand the pain of cutting.
But if we're going to get this country back on track, we're going to have to have someone that's honest with Americans that we're going to have to cut spending. We're going to have to make changes in the entitlement programs. But we can do this. But you send that message, and Americans will have faith again that they can risk their capital and expand and grow the economy.
HANNITY: So you become president, and the plan specifically is on day one, you're going to outline this, this, this and this, as my goal, and we want to get this done. What top four or five things.
PERRY: I will, but it's a little early in this process to be laying out the -- you know, those -- those four things, and...
HANNITY: What about the penny plan? What about -- would you support that?
PERRY: Listen, I think there are lots of good ideas out there. What we have to do is get the American people to really believe that there is a president of the United States that will lead them, that has the experience to put those changes into place, that knows how to lead an economy.
And I put my record out against anybody out there, the 12th largest economy in the world. I had the privilege to be the chief executive of that for the last 14 years. And it is unquestionable, 1.5 million jobs created...
HANNITY: You balanced the budget how many years?
PERRY: Fourteen years.
HANNITY: And do you think as president you can balance a budget, and how long would it take?
PERRY: I don't know how long it would take, but I think certainly you can balance a budget. It can be done. But you've got to have a plan in place and you have to have somebody that has the will and has had the experience to do it.
HANNITY: Entitlements on the table?
PERRY: Oh, absolutely, entitlements are on the table. They have to be on the table. There are a lot of different ways you address this issue of entitlements, and we're going have a good conversation about it. But we'll address that.
The message needs to be, we can do this. We've been down before. I mean, 1979, we had our grain embargoed. We had our kids boycotted from going to the Olympics. We had our lowest participation in the workforce. We had the hostages in Iran at our embassy. And we -- 10 years later, we saw the Berlin Wall fall and Soviet communism defeated because we elected a president that believed when America is strong the world is safer. It's time to do that again.
HANNITY: All right, we'll continue with more with Governor Perry.
And coming up next tonight here on "Hannity" --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: The question of every candidate will be this -- when have you led? Leadership is not a speech on the Senate floor. It's not what you say. It is what you have done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Coming up next, Governor Perry will react to the growing GOP presidential field, and we'll ask why he thinks he is the most qualified to be our next commander in chief. And later, we'll tell you how you can get in on the action by asking the former governor some questions. That and much more and what he thinks about Hillary as we continue from the great state of Texas straight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: Now is the time for clear-sighted proven leadership. We have seen what happens when we elect a president based on media acclaim rather than a record of accomplishment.
PERRY: This will be a show me, don't tell me election, where voters look past the rhetoric to the real record.
PERRY: The question of every candidate will be this -- When have you led? Leadership is not a speech on the Senate floor. It's not what you say. It is what you have done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right, that was Governor Rick Perry explaining earlier what he thinks voters are going to be looking for in a candidate in the 2016 election, very clear about that. We have a big, big field here. Any accident that Jeb Bush announced today the date he's announcing? Any coincidence?
PERRY: And I might add a talented field. This is a very talented group of men and women, some that I know very well. Carly and I have done a lot of projects together. When we were moving HP out of California to Texas, Carly was the president -- excuse, the CEO of the company, and a Texas-born young lady, by the way.
PERRY: And, you know, I'm a fan of Lindsey Graham. I think Lindsey is -- well, the only other person that's worn a uniform in the country.
HANNITY: Lindsey and I had a little talk and he took a cheap shot at me yesterday. I'll get to that and include him on Monday on the program.
PERRY: I'll give him good advice and don't take cheap shots.
HANNITY: That is good. Let's talk a little bit about this field. You've got fellow Senator Ted Cruz. Thoughts?
PERRY: Yes, smart as a -- I mean, whip smart, one of the great debaters of all time, a really good man, and who I admire. And I think he's doing a fabulous job in the United States Senate. I'm biased here. That's where I think his highest and best use is at this particular point in time, but an incredibly bright, capable patriot.
HANNITY: You made the distinction that executive experience you think is going to matter here. But you've got Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, strong conservative senators. You like them all. You're friends with all of them.
PERRY: They are good. They all have a very, very important role to play. But government is kind of one of the only places where somehow experience gets downgraded. Again, I go back to that analogy that I used, if you're going to fly from Dallas to London, do you want to get on an airplane that's got a very high-timed, seasoned pilot sitting in the front seat, or do you want somebody who gives a heck of a speech and can tell you about all of the aerodynamics and why the airplane stays and meteorology and only has 150 hours of flying that particular airplane? You're going to have your family in the most experienced position they can be.
And that's the reason I tell people, let's really have this conversation. Not who gives the most explosive speech and maybe has you on the edge of your chair, but who is it that really has a record and has a proven record of success, of getting jobs created? Because I will tell you, that happens to be job one.
HANNITY: You have fellow governors, former governors, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, John Kasich, maybe Mike Pence, maybe Bobby Jindal. What do you say that your experience is better? The 12th largest economy, you've said.
PERRY: And all really good individuals who I admire greatly, great competitors. But 14 years of managing the 12th largest economy in the country, stack our records up. Put '07 -- December of '07 to December of 2014 -- 1.5 million jobs created during the worst depression this country has had since the Great Depression.
HANNITY: How many jobs did the country create at that time?
PERRY: They lost 400,000. Without Texas, America would be 400,000 jobs in the red today. I mean, at the end of 2014. So my point is, listen, these are very, very talented people that I greatly admire, but let's look at the record.
HANNITY: Let's go to some of the social issues. Abortion?
PERRY: I'm pro-life.
HANNITY: You said recently and I know that the media has been asking every Republican about gay marriage. You said attend a gay marriage if invited.
PERRY: If, but I'm for traditional marriage. I think those are issues that need to be left to the states. I think America will be happier if they will let those contentious social issues be directed state-by- state.
HANNITY: You said that about Colorado and marijuana.
PERRY: I did. Listen, I disagree with some of these positions, whether they are on the social issues or whether they are issues on medical side with marijuana. I think Colorado will look back in five or 10 years, and they will say, you know what, we probably didn't think this through well enough. And they are already hearing that about young people and the access. I had a family who came up to me said, you know, when our kids go to the parties we have to have a conversation with them about the cookies.
So state-by-state, though, needs to make those decisions. Louis Brandeis, an old Supreme Court justice, said that states were the laboratories of democracy, that states would implement programs and experiment, and they would then compete against each other. And that's the beauty of the 10th Amendment. And a president who respects that and really allows that and stands up and proclaims proudly that Washington is not the fount of all wisdom. Allow the states to be the --
HANNITY: Before we hear from our audience and their wisdom, climate change, the president recently said that one of our biggest national security threats. Real, maybe science not conclusive, where do you stand?
PERRY: I want to look at results. And in the 14 years I was governor in the state of Texas, we added 5.6 million to our population. That's a lot of pickup trucks, Sean, driving out on the road, nonpoint source pollution, all of that refining capability on our gulf coast. And we lowered nitrogen oxide levels by 62.5 percent, sulfur dioxide levels by 50 percent, ozone levels by 23 percent, carbon dioxide by nine percent.
Now, no matter where you are in the global climate change debate, wasn't that the goal? And so my point is, there's some examples in the 12th largest economy in the world. They did this with an incentive-based approach to this.
So we need to be having not split people up. I mean, this president is such a divider. Let's agree that we can do some things together. Whether it's on criminal justice reform, whether it's on getting this country back working again, whether it's on how we develop our security and keep America safe, that there are things we are agree on. And Democrats and Republicans, let's not divide ourselves. Let's bring ourselves together and find the solution.
HANNITY: The president said he's not a divider. Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Cambridge police acted stupidly. We now see what we call the Ferguson effect. What's your reaction to all of that? Does America have a race problem?
PERRY: I hope there's some other people that can stand up and be engaged in this debate the way that we did in the state of Texas where we said, you know what, we are putting some kids in prison for really long periods of time for nonviolent, drug-related issues. So is there a better way to do this? Back in the mid-2000s, we created Drug Corps. And a Democrat district judge came to me and said hey, Perry, this works. And the issue is that we did it. And today we have now been able to close three prisons in the last four years in the state of Texas.
HANNITY: We have to take a break. When we come back with, more with Governor Perry right after the break, and your questions, straight ahead.
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." We continue from Texas. Governor, former governor Rick Perry is with us. He announced today he is running for president. One last question then we're going to go to our viewers. Hillary Clinton, you got server issues, you got Clinton Foundation issues, you got a lot of scandals out there. What are your thoughts on her and her candidacy? She seems to be the anointed one of the Democratic Party.
PERRY: I haven't bought into that the anointed one of the Democrats. I think they're going to go through a process. Hopefully they will and have a good conversation about whose vision is the best for this country.
But, again, we're going to go back and look at records. And it gets tawdry from time to time when you look at the secretary, and particularly this issue with Benghazi. The lack of transparency I think is what is going to bother a lot of Americans, whether it's Democrats or Republicans or certainly independents as well. The lack of transparency when it comes to this whole server issue, the lack of transparency when it comes to Clinton Foundation. This latest with what was going on with one of the Norwegian companies --
PERRY: Sweden and --
HANNITY: And $26 million.
PERRY: Millions of dollars going to her husband after she became the secretary of state, I mean, even George Stephanopoulos has got to say that doesn't pass the smell test.
HANNITY: All right, we've got a Twitter question from Diana Smith. She says "Are you prepared to pull aid from nations that participate and hide terrorists? And what is your plan for Iran?"
PERRY: Actually, I believe if you start with zero-based budgeting when it comes to foreign aid straight across the board. You know, our friends are the ones that are participating with us and helping us. They will pass the test very quickly. Those that don't, just because you've got foreign aid in the past, that means nothing to me. The fact is this is about now. What are you doing to protect America's interests? What are you doing to project western values? And if you can't pass that test, then why should we be sending them money?
HANNITY: We have a viewer, Robin Johnson 54 writes "What are your plans to deal with ISIS?" And I'll add to that. How do we repair the damage with Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu? Just yesterday the president was taking more shots at him.
PERRY: Let me address Prime Minister Netanyahu. We're friends both professionally and personally. On day one, he will know he has a friend in the Oval Office. That's the quick answer.
ISIS, obviously we talked about that earlier. Both back home from an intelligence standpoint to be able to ferret those here, these homegrown terrorists, and obviously back in the Middle East with a coalition of our - - both Saudi, Jordan, our Arab friends, and Israel working together in the coalition to use our intelligence. We're also going to have to beef up our intelligence capabilities, and obviously the military side of it to go out and eliminate ISIS and the world --
HANNITY: Whatever it takes, you're going to do it?
PERRY: Yes, sir.
HANNITY: All right, governor, we'll come back with Governor Perry right after the break as we continue "Hannity" from Texas tonight. Glad you're with us.
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." We now want to turn it over to Governor Perry to have a good 60 second uninterrupted to lay out his case to you, our viewers, as to why he should be the next president of the United States. Governor?
PERRY: Thank you. As a boy who grew up on a dry land cotton farm, and the idea that I'd be sitting here today talking about being the president of the United States is truly a dream come true, but it's a child every American child should be able to have today. And to be able to do that we've got to get this country back economically, because that's the core of whether you're a governor or a president, it's about having an economy so that you can hire the teachers, have the police officers, or in our case, as the president of the United States have the military, have the diplomatic ability to affect what's going on in the world.
And if you don't get that economic side right first, then you're not going to be able to address these issues. We saw it with Ronald Reagan back in the early 1980s. He took over a very depressed economy with an ascendant Russia, and a short 10 years later we saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of Soviet communism. It can happen again.
And that's my message for Americans. Our best days are in front of us. We're just a few good decisions and a leadership change at the top from the absolute best days in America. And I know how to do that because we put that process into place in the 12th largest economy in the world. And to build economically this country back up and to build American spirit back up, you know, this is the United States. We can do this. We've done it before, and our best days are ahead of us.
HANNITY: Governor Perry, thank you for being with us.
HANNITY: That's all the time we have left this evening. Thank you for being with us. See you back in New York. Goodnight.
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