Interview With Former U.S. Congressman Pat Toomey

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," October 17, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: And America`s economy front-and-center on the GOP campaign trail today. Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson already making their pitch. In less than 15 minutes, Mitt Romney will make his as well.

And there is no mistaking that this is a crowd you do not want to offend.

The leader of that crowd is with us now, Pat Toomey He is head of the Club For Growth.

Pat, now, you have heard from Mayor Giuliani, Senator Thompson. Who impressed you more?

PAT TOOMEY, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: I got to tell you, the thing that is most impressive and that I`m most happy about is that all of the leading candidates are totally singing off our song sheet. I mean, they get that the economy...

CAVUTO: The leading Republican candidates?

TOOMEY: The three leading Republican candidates, that`s right.

CAVUTO: Right.

TOOMEY: They want to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. They have all observed that our corporate tax rate is uncompetitive. It`s too high. They have different ideas, but meaningful ideas, about getting spending under control. They are all for free trade. They understand that we have got to fight back this protectionist impulse.

So, these guys know what it takes to grow the economy. And I`m really very pleased that they`re leading with such an aggressive pro-growth message.

CAVUTO: All right.

The only guy who has signed onto a no-tax-hike pledge, though, is Mitt Romney.

TOOMEY: That`s right.

CAVUTO: And, yet, you are kind of lukewarm on him, or your organization is.


TOOMEY: You know, I wouldn`t say that. You know, I think — I think Mitt Romney has got a good story to tell. And he has got a good record in Massachusetts. At he`s got great positions on the campaign trail. I think some people have drawn that inference because we have been particularly praising the success that Rudy Giuliani had in New York, because he was
successful in cutting taxes repeatedly in a very difficult environment.

CAVUTO: Well, so was Governor Romney. It makes me wonder, Pat, whether you`re kind of greasing the skids for a Giuliani endorsement.

TOOMEY: No, no. Neil, no, we`re not. We haven`t made a decision about whether we will even make an endorsement.

And, listen...


CAVUTO: You might not make one?

TOOMEY: We might not make an endorsement in this situation. If we have got three leading Republican candidates who are all with us on taxes, spending, trade and deregulation, the big issues that drive the economy, then we probably would not try to make a distinction between them, if they`re all with us...


CAVUTO: All right. So, but it would be a given, would it not, Pat, that you would be for the Republican nominee, whoever he is?

TOOMEY: Given the field as it is and how anti-growth all the Democrats are, yes, that is a pretty safe assumption.

CAVUTO: All right.

But, you know, Pat, you are very shrewd political reader of the tea leaves, and you know that people will kind of say anything to a group, just like, you know, I will walk into my doctor`s office and say, oh, yeah, I`m not eating the sweets and all that stuff.


TOOMEY: Right. Right.

CAVUTO: Then I pick up a doughnut on the way out.

So, I am just wondering whether you can believe guys who have had some spending blemishes in their pasts. And, in the case of Mayor Giuliani, he takes credits for tax cuts that were passed along by Governor Pataki that he challenged at the time.


CAVUTO: Now, I am not saying that makes him a big spender. I`m just saying that he, too, kind of plays with the data, does he not?

TOOMEY: I would argue that every single one of the leading Republican candidates is imperfect, from a pro-growth, limited-government, lower-taxes point of view.

CAVUTO: Who is the most perfect?

TOOMEY: You know, I don`t know that you can say.

I would have to say that I think...

CAVUTO: You sound like you`re for Giuliani. You sound like you`re for Giuliani. You sound like a Giuliani guy.

TOOMEY: Let me tell you...


TOOMEY: Neil, Rudy Giuliani accomplished more cutting taxes than anybody else in a very difficult environment.

I think that — you know, I think we have got to give him credit for that difficult environment in which he did that. But, right now, these guys all understand that we need to keep taxes low, in fact, go after excessively high corporate taxes and others. They`re all free traders.
They`re all on the right...


TOOMEY: ... right now.

CAVUTO: So, you have given up on this pledge thing? If only one of the guys is going to give you the no tax hike, you said, ah, that`s enough?

TOOMEY: I would to see them all take that pledge.

CAVUTO: Right.

TOOMEY: But I think, if you look at their records, none of these guys — Rudy Giuliani said something today which was new and I think is

CAVUTO: The Social Security thing, right?

TOOMEY: And he said unequivocally, no tax increase as part of Social Security reform. That was very good to hear. He also advocated personal accounts.


CAVUTO: I will tell you, I said the same about croissants, Pat, but I`m telling you, we have got to...


CAVUTO: There is a difference between saying something and doing something.

TOOMEY: There is. You are absolutely right.

CAVUTO: All right.

TOOMEY: I think there`s a pretty good record to back it up.

But, again, I am impressed with Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney, too.

CAVUTO: Ah, you`re covering your bets.

All right, Pat, thank you very, very much.

TOOMEY: Thanks for having me, Neil.

CAVUTO: Pat Toomey, the Club For Growth president, very, very

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