Mark Racicot, Chairman of the Republican National Committee

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, May 14, 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: The tax debate is heating up in the Senate this week. A handful of Republicans still opposed to the plan. Last week Denny Hastert taking shots at Republicans in the Senate. Senate moderates taking shots at, well, everyone else. Joining me now, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Mark Racicot.

Governor, good to have you.


CAVUTO: The problem, at least from where I sit, Governor, isn’t so much between Republicans and Democrats but increasingly among Republicans themselves. Is it that bad?

RACICOT: No, it is not that bad. The bottom line, of course, in any family, you can find a disparate number of opinions on occasion. But there is a clear, solid, very solid majority about focusing upon tax cuts and a growth package that the president wants and has proposed, clearly not in precisely the same numbers that were proposed originally, but I believe you will see a plan that comes out of the Republican Senate. And it will be in the neighborhood of 350 to $425 billion. Still large enough to have a very significant and positive impact, not precisely all that we would like, but these are reflections of different perspectives of same members of the same family.

CAVUTO: How do you feel about the more moderate members in your party, Governor, the Olympia Snowes of Maine, the Chafees of Rhode Island, who really buck this president at every turn. Now that’s certainly their right, but do you worry that the cohesive and the tightness that you’ve seen in the party is not the same?

RACICOT: No, I am not really worried about that, Neil. Virtually every week, the Senate is in session to be a part of the Republican Caucus for their policy lunch. And it’s some - there are obviously, very, very strong personalities. People that run for office do so because they are leaders. They come to represent their constituents, that you will find that over the long course of time that there is a huge amount of agreement. I think Ronald Reagan once made note of the fact that when you can agree unanimously 80 percent of the time that that is a pretty good percentage, if you were batting in the professional baseball leagues, to be able to achieve. So the bottom line is clearly we would like to have unanimity, all of us would, but we have to expect with the strong leaders from various parts of the country, that there are going to, on occasion, be differences of perspective.

CAVUTO: Well, then what was all that nastiness from Denny Hastert a couple of weeks back, you know?

RACICOT: Well, I think that they have worked very, very hard in the House to maintain as much dedication and loyalty as they possibly can. And they have been at this for a very long time. This is one of the stories unwritten I think from the 2002 election, the competency, the capacity, the efficiency of the House of Representatives, doing the business of America. They have been so diligent and focused so intensely, that there is bound to be some disappointment when they work so hard day after day to produce the kind of results that they have. So I think that he was calling them to a higher order, to a more difficult level than what perhaps they were inclined to achieve in the first place.

CAVUTO: But Governor, he’s not going to get what he wanted, right? I mean, the House wanted, obviously, a much bigger tax cut than we will ultimately see out of the Senate, than what we will probably out of the compromise legislation. So I guess what I am asking, and in your gut do you think that the only guarantee in this package, if there is such a thing, is the speed-up in the income tax rate reductions?

RACICOT: Well, I think that the ultimate story is yet unwritten in that regard, too, Neil, the fact of the matter is once there’s a vehicle that is provided by the United States Senate for discussion in conference committee, then the House and the senate will have the opportunity to come together and work on the same piece of legislation. No one, I don’t think, expects in this country that there is going to be unanimity at the beginning. And at the end of the day I think that there will be a very strong package that will be presented, that the president can review at that point in time.

CAVUTO: All right. Governor, we will see what happens, always a pleasure, sir, appreciate it.

RACICOT: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Mark Racicot, the man that runs the Republican Party.

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