Sign in to comment!

Interviews

Ken Langone on protests against the rich

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," November 2, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You have seen these protests going on in Chicago.  More are planned.

And what the beef is, they're saying, look, what's the big deal if the rich guys, the fat cats who trade all these commodities out there in the CME, what if they just are slapped with taxes, a few pennies a trade? Add it all up, it would really ease the burden on us.

Ken Langone says, be careful what you wish for. It's a very, very slippery slope.

The Home Depot co-founder joining me right now.

What's your big worry here?

KEN LANGONE, CO-FOUNDER, HOME DEPOT: No worry at all.

Some people have to learn the hard way. You can tax the wealthy 100 percent, and you don't move the needle of the government's needs for money.

CAVUTO: It does sound tempting, the way they pitch it, though. The was going on at Fox Business when I was on, just a few pennies a trade, a few pennies a trade.

LANGONE: No, no. Look, the only way you learn, OK, is experience eventually.

If these people think they're going to solve the problems, whether it's Chicago -- or, by the way, I was in Chicago yesterday and I heard that the mayor is now raising property taxes.

CAVUTO: Rahm Emanuel. Yes.

LANGONE: Guess what? You make these promises, you have got to pay for them.

CAVUTO: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: They haven't done enough of the cutting and spending.  They're even charging monthly fees for garbage now, which they never did before.

LANGONE: Right.

Look, we're in an environment now where it's OK to kick the successful. It's OK. In fact, it's encouraged.

CAVUTO: Do you worry that this class warfare, whatever you want to call it, is getting worse, that these people are very, very angry, they take it out on the rich who have gotten richer? And they feel that they haven't had their...

(CROSSTALK)

LANGONE: It never has a happy ending. Go wherever you want. Now...

CAVUTO: Well, it ended with a guillotine in France.

LANGONE: Well, I hope we don't go that far. I mean, I'm going to check my neck and see. All right.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But it's palpable. I really do think -- I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with the cause here, but...

(CROSSTALK)

LANGONE: I think that's a little too dramatic, frankly.

CAVUTO: The guillotine part.

LANGONE: Yes. Yes.

CAVUTO: OK.

LANGONE: Look, look, America has thrived on capitalism and America will thrive again on capitalism.

We may by going through a period of time of experimentation, all right, or extending it further than we should be doing. We had 90 percent taxes before in America. All right? Didn't work.

CAVUTO: One of those protesters says, those are the good old days.

LANGONE: Didn't work.

CAVUTO: Yes.

LANGONE: I can't be responsible for what a mass crowd says and the way they get them hyped up and agitated and everything else.

I'm an optimist. I think we have got five rough years ahead of us.

CAVUTO: Five rough years now?

LANGONE: Yes. Going forward, we have got five years. We have got some things to fix.

We have got some serious issues with unemployment, with debt, with health care. We haven't solved the health care problem with Obamacare.  Look at the increases.

CAVUTO: Look at the gap that's -- the gap between the rich and poor has widened now under a Democratic president, as it's widened over the years. What has caused that, because that's when people get really angry, Ken?

LANGONE: Well, that's the whole point.

Go back and see what he promised seven years ago. This president could have gone down in history as one of our greatest presidents if he said one thing. I want to be remembered for being the guy that moved the needle in a positive way in public education.

You want to close the income inequality gap in part? Give us better educated kids out of high school. Give us kids that can challenge and succeed in the challenge with technology. You give us those kinds of kids and watch the needle move.

The fact is, go look at -- go back to when Carter created the Department of Education and look at the spend. And at the same time, put...

CAVUTO: Kids are dumb as always.

LANGONE: Put a plot line about the results of public education. It's the exact opposite. It's like that.

CAVUTO: Well, who -- you used to like Chris Christie. Right?

LANGONE: I love him.

CAVUTO: OK. Now we have Jeb Bush in a world of hurt here. He's rebooted his campaign again. He's speaking -- I think -- is it Jacksonville, Pam, where he is right now? And he is trying to say I'm going to be more direct, I'm going to -- it's going to be a different Jeb Bush.

Is it too late?

LANGONE: I don't believe in personality transplants. OK? And I think that's what he needs. The guy is what he is.

He is a very -- and, by the way, he is a decent, fine man. He is just not up to the task of being a gifted politician like you need to be today.  That could be a negative too, because Hillary is gifted as a politician.  So was her husband. I'm a little frightened by -- and his brother George was a politician in a certain sense, and his father.

CAVUTO: He doesn't have that campaign...

(CROSSTALK)

LANGONE: He doesn't.

And I'm not sure initially he wanted it, OK? I'm not sure initially - - I think when they raised all this money for him for the PAC, the super PAC, that's an impressive number.

CAVUTO: Who is getting the money now, though? I hear Marco Rubio is getting more money, Ted Cruz is getting more money. Maybe your guy is.

LANGONE: Let me tell you what I know.

CAVUTO: Sure.

LANGONE: I'm right now making a lot of calls. I am more and more hearing from people saying to me, I'm going to keep my bet in my pocket right now until you get down to four or five people and I can make a more informed bet on who has got a chance of winning.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: So, this early buzz that Cruz and Rubio were getting a lot of that dough from the debate, you're not buying it?

LANGONE: A lot. Rubio bagged a million dollars. A million dollars in the presidential election is a spit in the ocean. It's not a lot of money.

CAVUTO: Yes, but it was in 24 hours after the debate.

LANGONE: Good. Do it every day for 30 days and then I will say, you know what? You got a tsunami on your hands. But, right now...

CAVUTO: How is your guy doing?

LANGONE: We're doing all right.

I will tell you what I'm intrigued by, the number of people -- he was on a competitive network's channel this morning.

CAVUTO: Yes.

LANGONE: And the number of calls I got about how well he had done and people are now starting to have a second look.

Let me say this about Chris. And I'm jaundiced. If you look at who can take on Hillary, with the smarts, and with the delivery, there's nobody better than him, nobody. The other night on that debate, when he shot right at them and said, let's see, we got a big deficit.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: I loved the New Jersey comment. Even in New Jersey, right?

LANGONE: Oh, even in New Jersey, that's rude. That's quick. And you know what?

CAVUTO: And that's something Bush doesn't have. Right?

LANGONE: Well, not only -- look, I think it's a shame if we pick our political -- our government leaders on...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But they have got to have a balance. Right?

LANGONE: But they have got to -- They have got to ignite. They have got to excite people. They have got to have people say, I can go with this guy. This guy is going to take me where I want to go.

CAVUTO: Do you Donald Trump hurt him, though, because here's another guy who says anything?

LANGONE: Christie?

CAVUTO: Yes.

LANGONE: Absolutely.

CAVUTO: So if Trump were out of the race, would your guy emerge?

LANGONE: Well, remember this. Go back to '12, when we wanted Christie to run, first time.

CAVUTO: Right. Right. I remember.

LANGONE: We were anxious, because he was doing what the American people needed, which is -- quote -- "telling it as it is."

CAVUTO: And now you got a Trump doing that.

LANGONE: Trump -- well, Trump has come in and made that his mantra.  Everybody is bad.

Here's an example. I'm a staunch believer in terms limits, big time.  Chris said on television one day that he was in favor of term limits. He needs to talk more about that.

CAVUTO: Yes. Well, we will see. I mean, he's very effective on the stump. We will see how he does in these debates.

LANGONE: We got a new speaker of the House. His whole entire life from the day he graduated from college is in Washington.

CAVUTO: And now we will see. We will see how he does. Right?

LANGONE: And, by the way, I'm high on him.

CAVUTO: OK. Good.

You're high period, right?

LANGONE: I'm high, period.

CAVUTO: All right.

Content and Programming Copyright 2015 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.