GOP Prepares for McCain Attacks

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," August 25, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You know, I saw this lady here and I did a double- take. What the heck? The GOP launching its war room here in Denver today to pounce on any attacks against their candidate, John McCain. One of those warriors, perhaps one of the most famous corporate chief executives of all time, I'm talking about McCain economic adviser Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

You know, there was a time she was a big FOX contributor, and then she went on to being, who knows, maybe the next vice president of the United States. We don't take it personally, we just moved on.

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CAVUTO: Carly, good to see you.

CARLY FIORINA, VICTORY CHAIR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: It's great to see you, Neil. Thanks for having me.

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CAVUTO: Boy, you guys got the SWAT team going here. I mean, do you have food-tasters here? Or how did you pull that off?


FIORINA: Actually, you know, it's funny. We have been warmly welcomed here in Denver.

I have been talking with Democrats for many months. I have been meeting with Democratic delegates here. We had a press conference this morning with a number of Democrats who have chosen to join Citizens for McCain, and come out publicly and say, "You know what? The party doesn't own my vote."

And, so, we have had a very interesting time here. And I predict...

CAVUTO: You have been trying to stir the pot a little bit, right?

FIORINA: You know, it doesn't take much stirring, when a bunch of Democrats believe that Barack Obama does not have the judgment or the experience to lead, when they believe that Hillary Clinton was a better- qualified candidate.

Now they look at John McCain and they say, he has judgment. He has experience. He has a character that we can trust." These are not my words. They're theirs.

CAVUTO: Well, they also say, Carly, that this ups the ante for the senator, Senator McCain, to choose a woman running mate.

FIORINA: You know, I don't hear that. I think most people vote for the top of the ticket.

Of course, the veep is important, but, fundamentally, people now are making a choice between Barack Obama and John McCain. And that choice is very stark and very clear. And it's becoming more stark and more clear for Democrats, for independents, as it has been for Republicans.

CAVUTO: What about you? Your name gets mentioned a lot. And — and we could do worse than to have a former successful CEO, male or female, right?


CAVUTO: But, you know, Carly, we never do it. We talk about it. Fred Smith's name has been mentioned, you know, the FedEx guy. You know, Lee Iacocca back in '84, remember when his name...


CAVUTO: But we never do it, and, invariably, we go back to — now, I'm not saying they're tired old staples, but they're tired old staples, you know, the same political types.


FIORINA: Well, you know, this is John McCain's decision. And I have come to know John McCain very well over the last 18 months. And I trust his judgment on most things. And I trust his judgment on this choice as well. And he will make the choice that he thinks will serve the nation best.

CAVUTO: All right.

Now, the Joe Lieberman thing that gets rumored about, some have interpreted that as a potential "Cocoon" club ticket, not a good idea. What do you think about that?


FIORINA: You know what? I'm really not going to comment on any of the picks that John McCain might make because...

CAVUTO: See, I thought I could get you, because I know you got to be tired. I mean, people say things...


FIORINA: ... because he's going to make his choice.

But I guess what I will say is, there are people all over this country who realize that this election is very important, and they realize the choice of a commander in chief and a president is very important. And they are really paying attention now.

And I think that's why we are meeting with so many Democrats.

CAVUTO: Why — is that why we're 45-45 in the latest polls? An economy that, as you said in the past, would seem to work against the Republicans isn't hurting them. I mean, I guess it could be better for — for your guy if it weren't like this, but it — it certainly could be a heck of a lot worse.

FIORINA: Well, I think, first of all, Americans are hurting. I totally agree with your last guest. The economy is in difficult straits, and Americans are sitting around the kitchen table wondering if they're going to keep their job, wondering how they're going to pay their grocery bills.

I think...

CAVUTO: Well, he says, if you raise taxes on the rich, that's a way to stall that inequity.


You know, it's interesting how much the Obama folks refer back to the Clinton years, because Clinton, as you know, passed NAFTA, because he understood that exports were good for the economy. Clinton lowered the capital gains tax rate.

CAVUTO: Well, his wife turned on that. All of a sudden, she said it wasn't a good idea.


FIORINA: So, I think they're not at all putting forward Clinton policies.

But I guess what I would say is, I think what it indicates is that John McCain has been out talking with the American people for many months now. He first introduced a comprehensive economic plan to get Americans back to work on April 15, and he's been talking about it ever since. And I think people understand he has a plan to get the economy going again.

And I think, at a very basic level, most human beings understand, you know, if times are tough, don't take more money out of my pocket.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you, you rose like a rocket in this campaign, Carly. And I — I'm not wondering why, but I'm wondering what that says about the interests of John McCain, whether he's going to reach out more to corporate types like yourself in an administration, or what. What?

FIORINA: Well, I think John McCain has said publicly on many occasions that he will reach out to everyone to serve in his administration. He's absolutely talked about bringing private enterprise into his administration.

But I also think it says about him that he looks for opinions from all kinds of people. It's one of his great strengths.

CAVUTO: Gotcha.

All right, Carly, always a pleasure. Thank you very much.

FIORINA: It's great to see you, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right.


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