This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 24, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Earlier today President-elect Obama assembled his economic team, and now some top Democrats say that they're going to have a major financial stimulus package on his desk by inauguration day.
Joining us now to respond is newly elected minority whip, Virginia congressman, Eric Cantor.
Congressman, good to see you. Welcome back to the program.
Thank you, Sean, Alan, good to be with you.
HANNITY: All right. So he was talking during the campaign about $175 billion, you know, stimulus package. You know, now we've got $700 billion in bailouts, we got $700 billion package, he's asked today how we're going to pay for all of this.
Are the Republicans going to support? Is the answer government works programs? Is the answer green jobs as he was talking about today?
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), HOUSE MINORITY WHIP: No, that's certainly not the answer, Sean, and you know, the -- campaign was full of promises of reaching out across the political aisle, trying to bring this country together so that we can actually deal with a severe economic crisis that we've got upon us.
You know families across this country want nothing else but to try and make sure that their future is more certain.
HANNITY: All right.
CANTOR: . and they want to make sure that they've got a job.
HANNITY: Let's look at areas.
CANTOR: And I'm worried, I'm.
HANNITY: Go ahead. But I want to look at areas where we might agree with Barack Obama. For example, if he doesn't follow up on his promise to raise taxes on the 5 to 10 percent, I'm for that. If he's going to cut taxes to stimulate the economy, I'm for that. If he's going to back off the capital gains tax and raising tax rates, I'm going to support him on that.
Will the Republicans?
CANTOR: Absolutely. I think that's really our role right now. We're going to be the honest opposition. And if he is going to move in the direction of lightening the burden on the middle class taxpayer, we will support that, but if, in turn, what we're hearing is that they veer left and they go to the old hard way of cranking up the big government spending machine, we're just going to oppose that.
HANNITY: All right. Let's look at some of the things New York Times on Sunday -- by the way, whatever you read in the New York Times, you know it came from the Obama camp because that their official campaign, you know, spokesman.
Why? What's so funny about that?
All right now. But here's what they talk about. They say -- all right, and he reiterated a lot of these points in the press conference today. That they're going to jump-start this, but they're going to, quote, "rebuild the crumbling roads and bridges and infrastructure. They're going to modernize schools, for -- build wind farms and solar panels and fuel efficient cars and alternative energy technologies."
That's what they're saying they're going to do. That's what he said today. So -- now why do I think that that does not spur any economic growth in the economy or create any new jobs or any business incentive?
CANTOR: Sean, I think you're absolutely right. I mean what are we doing here? We know what the problem is. The reason why we're here is because of the collapse in the capital markets and the financial system due to the plummeting prices of housing across this country, and as soon as the mortgage backed securities market began to implode, that poison began to spread across classes of assets, so why are we dealing with issues other than the central core problem?
And I'll tell you, I met with Rahm Emanuel last week, and I told him, I said Republicans want to work with you. We want to try and solve this problem so we can get the economy growing again, and I said I know you're interested in more investment by the government, I said but that's not going to provide a long-term solution here.
Let's attack the problem. Let's address the real estate prices. Why don't we provide 15,000 tax credit for people who want to buy a home or even get some assistance to folks who want to refinance.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Hey, Congressman, it's Alan Colmes.
CANTOR: And bring down those rates.
COLMES: Were you listened to? Did you get a sense that what you said to Rahm Emanuel was received and received with an open mind?
CANTOR: There certainly was a very open and candid conversation that we had. I'm looking forward to working with Rahm and certainly with the president-elect.
COLMES: Right. Wouldn't it be wise.
CANTOR: . to make sure we can get a solution.
COLMES: Wouldn't it be wise to hold your fire and stop looking for a reason to be critical until he actually takes office so you can actually work together before you criticize an administration which hasn't even taken hold yet, hasn't even entered office yet?
CANTOR: Alan, Alan, Alan, I'm not criticizing. All I'm saying is we've had no indication that they're reaching across the aisle, taking our -- some of our suggestions to try and make this thing real rather than some payoff to some workers that they feel that they need to provide some assistance to.
I mean, if you look at the things that are coming out of the majority leader and the Senate, his proposal, $50 million -- $50 billion of that.
CANTOR: . half of it is going to the car industry, and we've already had that discussion about the failed model.
COLMES: You already have the Republican administration.
CANTOR: And the other goes to the cities and the states.
COLMES: You had a Republican administration.
CANTOR: And again.
COLMES: I'm sorry. Don't mean to interrupt you. Go ahead.
CANTOR: We don't want to provide to, we don't want to provide monies to entities whether they're car companies or frankly the cities or states that aren't thinking outside the box and trying to innovate, rather than.
COLMES: Congressman, we only have a second left here.
CANTOR: . support the (INAUDIBLE) way of doing business.
COLMES: You have a Republican administration that just spent a fortune bailing out private equity companies and how do you then ignore the car industry with all the ancillary companies and all the millions of workers who will be affected when you bailed out all these rich money companies? How do you do that?
CANTOR: Oh Alan, come on. Come on, Alan. Very simply. Very simply, because if you look at it, the credit markets in this country are much akin to a utility. So if you shut off the electricity, everyone -- families, businesses, states, local governments -- would be affected.
Same thing with the credit market. Like it or not, our economy is built on leverage.
COLMES: All right. Hey.
CANTOR: . and families save for their retirement, put their kids to college, all through college through.
COLMES: We, we got to run, sir.
CANTOR: . the credit market.
COLMES: We thank you for the call -- coming up -- I mean, for the interview.
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