All eyes on Obama after executive orders, actions on Cuba

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 18, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, first on immigration and now on Cuba, the president taking control of the agenda these days.

To Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on whether that should be a worry for Congress.

Governor, very good to have you. By the way, belated congratulations on your win.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER, R-WIS.: Thank you. Good to be with you, Neil.

CAVUTO: What do you make of this? Because if you look at all the papers, read all the press, the president is controlling the agenda of late, and these initiatives on his own are all anyone talks about. What do you make of all of that?

WALKER: Well, I said a few weeks back, back after the November 4 elections, not take the bait, and I think the same thing applies here.

First off, I agree with Marco Rubio. This is a bad idea what he`s doing with Cuba. But right after the elections, about two weeks out, he was pushing this change, which I think is -- goes far beyond just an immigration issue. It goes to the rule of law, and it`s why I joined with other states in challenging that in court.

But really what is happening more than anything is the president has gone from the audacity of hope to the audacity of the power grab, and he`s trying to take the attention off the fact that his policies were clearly on the ballot on November 4. He himself said it. And he lost overwhelmingly, even in states he had won in the past.

I think Republicans would fare well to be out front, aggressively pushing a pro-growth agenda that got them elected in the first place, instead of being on their heels responding to this president.

CAVUTO: All right, now, in the meantime, when they take control of the Senate, what`s the first thing you would recommend they do?

WALKER: Well, I think it`s a whole package.

I talk about pulling back on tax rates, putting more money back in the hands of the American people, bringing more American jobs back. I think I would certainly have to repeal Obamacare and go down the path of putting patients back in charge of health care.

I think they have to re-exert their authority. I think if you look at things as simple as Keystone, and not just limited to Keystone, but overall saying that we have an incredible opportunity in this country to put more people to work, not just in the building and maintaining of our power structures, like the pipeline and like industrial sand operations and fracking.

We have an incredible opportunity to put more people to work in manufacturing that depends on cost-effective and reliable sources of power. This president has no policy. We should be out front pushing a policy that does just those things.

CAVUTO: You mentioned Marco Rubio on this Cuba thing, Governor.

Rand Paul was questioned on the same subject and said it`s probably a good idea. Do you think that, seeing through the immediate impact of bypassing Republicans by taking that 60 years of whatever policy we have had isolating Cuba has not worked and that something else has to happen, and maybe that`s what Senator Paul was addressing?

WALKER: I think that`s what he`s talking about.

But I just don`t see how you have a policy that`s been in place for all this time through Republican and Democrat administrations alike without substantial change that does more to provide freedom to the people in Cuba, the kind of freedom we have said we wanted for some time.

Now we`re just saying we`re going to brush that all aside? I think that`s a real concern. And it sends, I think, the wrong message to people all around the world that we stand tough on something and then, just when we get a little bored of it, we try something different.

CAVUTO: Jeb Bush made some noise this week, as I`m sure you`re aware, that he has officially decided as a maybe that he might run. I think that was the gist of it.

But I`m wondering, Governor, do you -- a lot of people have mentioned your name in that first tier of potential presidential candidates. Do you or your people feel any added pressure when an announcement like that is made, if for no other reason then the attention it gets from donors?


In the end, Jeb is a good friend of mine. I like the work he did in Florida. I like him personally. But his decision is not going to have an impact on me one way or the other, both in terms of the decision itself in the future or in terms of the time frame.

In my case, I have got a state to get prepared to lead again for a second term. It feels like it`s the third term, but it`s only the third election in four years, but it`s the second true term.

We have got a budget to come out with, a new legislative agenda. So I`m going to put my priorities first and make sure my state`s on the right track. But sometime next year, we will be looking at whether or not this makes sense, not just for me and my family, and equally as important my state, but for my country.

The reason I got in the race for governor more than four years ago was because I was worried that my sons, Matt and Alex, were going to grow up in a state that was not as great as the state I grew up in. It would be the same consideration I would have in terms of running for president.

I`m frustrated. I think we can do better for people like my sons and all the other sons and daughters like them. I want them to live the same sort of American dream that I and my parents and my grandparents had. I don`t see that happening right now.

And so that would weigh heavily. And it wouldn`t be who else is in the race. It would be whether or not it can help turn things around and help everyone live their piece of the American dream.

CAVUTO: I remember being with you at the time during the first recall.

You have had like 17 elections and you have been governor for more than four years.


WALKER: Feels like that.

CAVUTO: It seems like that.

But I do remember that it incited huge movements, protests, what have you, in Madison and elsewhere. And I thought, boy, if this guy runs for president, he`s going to incite the same debate on both sides. And in this time of forced extreme views and all of that, would that hurt the idea of being a unifying candidate? Or how would you describe it?


I think, in the end, Wisconsin is very much a microcosm of America. We have a state that long before I was governor was equally divided. In

2000 and 2004, it was the closest blue state in America, so, well before I was the governor.

I think the reason why I have won in a state that leans Democrat in most presidential elections -- last time a Republican carried the state for president was 30 years ago, when I was in high school, when Ronald Reagan was reelected. But I have won three times now because I not only got almost all the Republican votes.

I carried a strong majority of the independent voters out there, because I think more than anything they want leadership. It`s the same reason -

- it`s ironic when people talk about these candidates. We have, I think, something like 280,000 donors in all 50 states, some 70 percent of our donors this last time around where people gave us $75 or less.

We certainly had a lot of help from big donors across the country. But most of our money, percentage-wise, came from people giving us that $25, $50, $75 donation.


CAVUTO: No, no doubt, Governor.


WALKER: And it`s in large part because of all the protests.

CAVUTO: I apologize.

What I was getting at, maybe clumsily, is that the targeting for you would be, he`s the anti-working man, he`s the anti-union guy, he`s the anti-stiff on the street.

How do you answer that?

WALKER: Oh, I think it`s easy. It`s the same reason why I took -- even in that recall you came in for, I took in almost 40 percent of the self- identified union households.

Why? Because we pointed out we weren`t anti-union. We were pro-worker.

We were pro-taxpayer. We took the money away from the big government special interests, the ones that are controlling Washington, D.C., even as we speak. And we put it back in the hands of the hardworking taxpayers.

That`s the great conquest. It`s the reason why I think any candidate associated with Washington, be they Democrat or Republican, is going to have a hard time this next go-around, because I think the one thing that unites Americans is they think Washington is messed up.

And I join them. I think it is messed up. I think it takes strong, refreshing, new leadership from outside of Washington. Overwhelmingly, I think that comes from the states. And it takes leaders who are willing to take on the kind of masses we took on in Madison to say, we`re going to stand up against those special interests and put the power back in the hands of the people.

CAVUTO: Do you think that it`s better Republicans choose a governor over a senator?

WALKER: Absolutely.

I mean, I have got a lot of great friends who are in Congress in both the House and the Senate. I have great respect for them. But I think, in the end, there`s something special about a chief executive, someone who`s had to put a cabinet together, someone who`s had the buck stop with them, had to put the budget together, someone who actually has to lead, not just give speeches.

And I think that`s why, historically, before this president, before President Barack Obama, the last time we elected a member of Congress was all the way back to 1960, some seven years before I was even born.

And that's because people, I think, in the end, they want proven executive experience, regardless of party.

CAVUTO: Governor Walker...

WALKER: It`s -- whether it`s Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton or George Bush, I think there are plenty of examples out there of people that felt much more comfortable as a voter with someone who`s a proven leader.

And governor is the -- I think the next closest thing to being president.

CAVUTO: Governor Walker, always a pleasure. Thank you. I hope you have a merry Christmas. My best to your family.

WALKER: Good to be with you, Neil. Merry Christmas.

CAVUTO: Scott Walker, the fine state of Wisconsin.

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