Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Bob McDonnell

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This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," October 22, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, Virginia's for lovers of politics, everyone everywhere watching the governor's race, 12 days now before Election Day — Republican Bob McDonnell opening up a 12-point lead. And, if you listen to his opponent, Creigh Deeds' policies all but sending McDonnell ahead.

Now, we invited Deeds on. No response. Bob McDonnell is here, and only here.

Mr. McDonnell, good to have you.

BOB MCDONNELL (R), VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, thanks, Neil. Thanks for having me on to talk and not speed-read.


Well, what you make of that? We have the world's faster reader right now, not to jar you, going through this health care package. And, as you can see, it is taking him a while just to turn the pages.

What do you make of that?

MCDONNELL: Well, it's a significant bill. I think there has been some disappointment, certainly from Virginians, with the many bills that have come out of the United States Congress that are 1,000 pages-plus that don't appear to be fully read or comprehended prior to the vote.

And I know our voters are telling us that they are concerned, while they think it is legitimate to address the cost and access issues in health care, that turning over the greatest medical care system in the world to the federal government is probably not a good idea.

CAVUTO: What if we learn after everything that Howard is speed- reading through here, it's not so bad, it's not so onerous, it's not the end of the world? What then?

MCDONNELL: Well, the information that we have had from the — at least the CliffsNotes versions in Virginia and from me talking to a number of our citizens in Virginia is they are concerned about the increased cost, trillion-dollar bill, less choices, cuts in Medicaid or Medicare to pay for it, more people to put on Medicaid, which is going to be an additional burden on the states, and, at the end of the day, probably less choices and interruption with the doctor-patient relationship.

I think people are by-and-large happy with the providers that they have got now. They treasure that doctor-patient relationship. And turning over this — the best doctors, the best hospitals, the best pharmaceutical research and development system to the federal government through co-ops or a public option is one that I don't hear Virginians very excited about.

CAVUTO: All right.

Well, we're hearing a lot of reports that there's no protection in coverage for illegal aliens in this country. Howard is going to let us know whether that is in there or not. We also are told that this will be deficit-neutral. And Howard is going to be tell us whether it adds up and indeed it is.

But, before he gets to that, is it your sense that, regardless of the size, the pages, the thickness of a bill, there should be this 72-hour window that the congressmen and the American taxpayer should have a chance to read it?

What do you think of that?

MCDONNELL: We have adopted a system in Virginia that Mr. Jefferson put together hundreds of years ago that allowed — requires every bill to be read three times before you vote on successive days, understanding that — and we have a single-object rule that makes every bill fairly simple and easy to comprehend, unlike some of these incredibly long congressional enactments.

Transparency is certainly something that was promised by the administration. It's something that citizens demand. And I think that the — the sheer size and scope and reach of this bill means that it should be digested for a significant period of time before action.

CAVUTO: Meanwhile, your opponent has all but blamed the president for his problematic poll numbers. Like I said, in the latest ones, he trails you by about a dozen points or so. And we are seeing signs the administration is pitching a lot of its efforts in New Jersey, where it thinks it seems to have a better chance with the Democratic candidate, the incumbent Governor Jon Corzine.

What do you make of that?

MCDONNELL: We are running a campaign in Virginia, Neil, that is focused on the Virginia issues, which are jobs and the economy. We got more bad news today about International Paper is going to close a plant — 1,100 jobs lost in Franklin County. I think that is clearly the biggest challenge for the next governor: Keep the tax and regulations low, promote free enterprise and economic development through just support of the free enterprise system.

I know Virginians are very concerned — and I made an issue in my race — about some of the things that we do see coming out of the United States Congress, cap-and-trade and card check, unfunded mandates, major new deficit spending. These are things that voters all over Virginia have told me they are very concerned about.

I have pushed my opponent on it. He's either ambivalent or for all those reforms. I have been steadfastly against it, because I think it will hurt the competitiveness of Virginia's businesses. And it has been an issue in this race. And I think it is one that is actually helping me with independent voters in Virginia.

CAVUTO: Well, it is among the most closely watched races anywhere at any time. We will keep an eye on it.

Mr. McDonnell, in the meantime, thank you very much.

MCDONNELL: Good to be with you, Neil. Thanks so much.

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