This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, March 3, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: A ban on French wine. This is not just talk here, guys. It is my next guest, and what he's doing. Selling a bottle of any French liquor in his state, if he has his way, will become illegal. He plans on introducing his bill stating as such tomorrow. Joining us now, Republican state representative of Pennsylvania, Stephen Barrar.
Thank you, sir, good to have you.
STEPHEN BARRAR, R-PENNSYLVANIA STATE REP.: Hi, Neil. How are you?
CAVUTO: Why are you doing this?
BARRAR: Well, I'm doing it because I feel that the actions of the French government have jeopardized the lives of our American servicemen now serving in the Persian Gulf region.
CAVUTO: Now you know a lot of people dislike the French, but they think you are going one step too far. Let people decide if they don't want to buy French wine or French pastries or French cheese, any of that.
BARRAR: Well, I've recently met with some of the tavern owners that live in my district and they have been very supportive of my resolution to ban the French wine. And a lot of them have even gone further and said that they will take out German beer out of their taverns.
CAVUTO: So all of this is in response to these countries' opposition to the White House, right?
BARRAR: It is not just that, it's the anti-American rhetoric that the French are engaging in. If you look at the actions of the French and what they've done, threatening the former Soviet satellite states, and telling them that they will block their entrance into the European Union if they show any American tendencies - any support for Americans whatsoever, that they tried to block the deployment of the AWAC aircraft, the Patriot missiles into Turkey. These are things I think seriously jeopardize the lives of our servicemen and women serving in the Gulf region.
CAVUTO: So you are saying these guys essentially are not worth our time?
BARRAR: Well, I think if we are going to serve their products in our store, and our sales nets about $18 million a year to the French, then I think that they could be a little bit more supportive. They don't have to support the war effort, but if they stand side-by-side with the American government, the best way to avoid war here is going to be for us to, you know, stand shoulder-to-shoulder and send a strong message to Saddam Hussein, that we are not going to tolerate your actions, you're going to live up to the U.N. resolutions that have been passed.
CAVUTO: Representative, there are many in your state who applaud you for your efforts here but they say this is going to go nowhere. What do you say?
BARRAR: Well, a house resolution is a symbolic gesture. It is not binding. But I'm hoping the idea of a boycott will catch on and that people, in order to show support for our servicemen, will take this up on their own cause and boycott French products. And everywhere I go people are telling me, mostly veterans or people that are family of World War II veterans have told me that they support me 100 percent.
CAVUTO: Do you have any sense though from residents in your state, that this is catching on beyond just the anecdotal evidence? I mean, have you got hard data to support the fact, all right, x-number fewer bottles of wine, less cheese, you know what I'm saying?
BARRAR: Yeah. I have no evidence that it is doing any good. But everywhere I go people come up and talk to me and tell me that they support me 100 percent, that they are making wine selections of California and Pennsylvania. But you know, I really see that this is a great opportunity to highlight the American-made product in this situation.
CAVUTO: Are you ever going to France yourself?
BARRAR: Probably not after this. No, I probably won't be too welcome.
CAVUTO: They will be looking at you with a bullseye on you. All right. Representative, thank you very much.
CAVUTO: Representative Stephen Barrar.
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