Interviews

Ralph Norman: Deadlock cannot continue to be an option

Republican winner of South Carolina special election gives his first national interview on 'Your World'

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 21, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, Ralph Norman yesterday giving a thumbs up after winning that special election in South Carolina's Fifth District, later tweeting out: "Now let's get to work."

The race closer than a lot of people expected, still a W. is a W. And he is now the congressman-elect on his way to Washington.

Sir, very good to have you. Congratulations.

RALPH NORMAN, R-SOUTH CAROLINA CONGRESSMAN-ELECT: My pleasure, Neil. Glad to be here.

CAVUTO: I like when you're saying let's get to work. Obviously, voters who -- in these special election -- and yours was the fourth, if you want to put it, for want of a better term -- and the others we have seen, and Republicans have won them all, but by narrower margins than last fall.

And I'm wondering whether voters are sort of saying, yes, we're still with you, Republicans, but you better get the job done. What do you think?

NORMAN: That's exactly right.

The conservatives control the House, the Senate and executive branch. And they want meaningful health care. They want regulations cut. They don't want to hear gridlock. And the downside, for all conservatives, if nothing gets done, we all go out.

And we have get to sell our story, Neil. We have got to tell the voters what we're doing and why it matters. And I look forward to doing that.

CAVUTO: Do you worry when many of your party in the Senate -- and maybe there are very good reasons for this, sir -- plot the health care draft behind closed doors? Only a few Republicans know.

I talked to your future colleagues in the House today who said they don't like that. And these are coming from Republicans who didn't like the way this has been crafted. What do you say?

NORMAN: Well, that's what we're going to have to get into.

As they say, the devil is in the details.

CAVUTO: Right.

NORMAN: We will have to look at it and make sure it's meaningful legislation. As long as it's meaningful and people -- it's real, when people can get lower deductibles, it's affordable, the physicians buy into it, I think it will sell.

I think the thing that is not on the table is if we don't get anything. That's not an option. So, we have got to produce. And as I mentioned, we have got to go to work. And I hope we can work the month of August and get something passed.

CAVUTO: You would be for that? You would work through the month of August to get this stuff done?

NORMAN: Yes.

The country -- look what happened in Tennessee when Humana left and the 20,000 to 30,000 people were stranded.

CAVUTO: Right.

NORMAN: We can't have -- let that happen to Americans, regardless of the state.

So, I think they're looking for something. And they don't really -- they don't get that the House passed it, and the Senate is bogged down. They just want to see something that is real, something that they can identify with and that is meaningful.

CAVUTO: All right, the timetable looks like getting this thing out before the public tomorrow morning, as you know, and then they're going to debate it a little bit, while not too long. And they will put it up for a vote, get it settled within a matter of weeks, I understand, to sort of set the stage for tax cuts in September, and all of that done this year.

Is that doable? And are you afraid, if it isn't done, then there could be trouble?

NORMAN: It's doable, if we can put it a priority and again go to work.

And, no, it's not going to sell well. It's not going to sell well to my voters in the Fifth District if we don't come away with anything. Deadlock just cannot continue to be an option. The last eight years has been deadlock, but for a good reason. A lot of the legislation that President Obama had was bad. But President Trump...

CAVUTO: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Then I'm sorry. I want to be clear on the tax cut thing, if you don't mind, Mr. Norman.

That is this notion that some in your party seem to think that tax cuts should be paid for, they should be deficit-neutral, revenue-neutral, you know the drill. Do you subscribe to that opinion? Do you think that they should be very, very big, get the bang for the buck, even if you have short-term deficits, or do you think you have got to be very cognizant of that?

The House leadership seem to think, as does Mitch McConnell in the Senate, no, they should be paid for and they should be revenue-neutral. You say what?

NORMAN: Well, the fact is, we're $20 trillion in the hole. The fact is, we can't continue to kick the can down the road to raise the debt ceiling without any cuts anywhere or -- they call them cuts.

But as former Congressman Mick Mulvaney mentioned, it's just cuts to the increases that were built in.

CAVUTO: That's very true, just curtailing the growth.

NORMAN: So, I think we have got to have some meaningful cuts that are not just in word. It has got to be in deed.

CAVUTO: So, in other words, you're open to big tax cuts, but offsetting them with spending cuts?

NORMAN: Exactly.

Look at the bloated budget as it is. I don't think I can sell to our voters in our district that there's nothing to cut in the federal budget. Nobody, I think, sees that or would agree with that.

CAVUTO: Yes.

How instrumental do you think or how much of an issue do you think President Trump was in your election?

NORMAN: Well, as I -- and I just talked to the president before I came on here.

I think we have got to sell what he's done. You know, the laws that -- if you compare the Obama administration to President Trump's, the laws that were signed into statute, he had 30 in the first 10 days. Obama had 15.

If you look at the legislation that the House passed in the first 100 days, 104 to 94. We have got to publicize and tell the voters this is what he's done.

If you listen -- other than FOX News, if you listen to the media, he doesn't done anything, is stalemated, Russia has done this, Russia has done that.

We have got to sell the story of the good things President Trump has done. And as I mentioned in my talk last night, the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court is one of the greatest things he's done. And we have got to lead off with that.

CAVUTO: All right, Ralph Norman, again, congratulations on your big victory. Look forward to seeing you in the well of the House very soon. Thank you, sir.

NORMAN: Thank you so much.

END

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