Romney edging past Obama in Michigan

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 8, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Now to another potential trouble spot for the president, and this one is a surprise, Michigan, a new poll there showing Mitt Romney pulling slightly ahead of President Obama in a state where unions reign supreme.

And keep in mind Mitt Romney had campaigned against the bailout. Of course, it was the president campaigning hard largely on that $85 billion auto bailout.

So, are the post-magic bus reverberations in Wisconsin driving this? And are we going to see more of it?

Mike Huckabee is keeping track of it all. What do you think?

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: I think the president is in trouble in states like Michigan and the Upper Midwest, for the simple reason that people know that the job market is not getting a lot better, Detroit on the verge of absolute bankruptcy.

If you have been there lately, you know that there are sections of Detroit there have utterly been abandoned, grass growing higher than rooftops. It is depressing. And this is the really cradle of American industry, the part of America that saved us.

CAVUTO: It's the state that he rescued, he all but rescued, right?

HUCKABEE: Well, he didn't somehow keep them out of the water, because they're back in it. And if I were the Republicans -- because I always love visuals -- what I would love to do is to send Barack Obama a fiddle and say, if you going to play Nero, at least play us a tune as we burn because you seem not to understand that things are not going all rosy and sweet out here in the private sector.

And for him to go to the podium and say that is absurd. Michigan is a state where, no matter what they do, there are some fundamental structural issues in Michigan that are hard for them to overcome, their tax base, the fact that it is highly unionized work force. Those jobs have moved away. Neil, they are not coming back, because if you can move those auto jobs to the South, where you do not have unionized workers, they are still going to get a great paycheck in the South building cars, but they are going to be able to build that car for about $1,500 less per car in the South just based on health insurance benefits than they would if they stayed in Michigan.

CAVUTO: You know what is weird about this, Governor, is that this is the week we saw a lot of so-called Democratic lock states look like they were not locks anymore.


CAVUTO: You just mentioned Michigan. We have Wisconsin, of course, where Governor Scott Walker triumphed.

We even had a couple of cities in California that repudiated public unions and heavily endorsed by, in the case of San Jose, a Democratic mayor. So maybe it is not so crazy when folks like Michael Reagan say California could be in play, a big leap, I grant you. But the math changes. How does that change a campaign?

HUCKABEE: One thing the unions have miscalculated is that they have pushed for addition benefits at a time when they're being cut in the private sector. And the people in the private sector, who are the ones paying for those union benefits, for public unions in particular, are just saying that is crazy. Chicago is voting whether to go on strike. You are talking about asking for 30 percent pay increases in a city where 50 percent of the kids do not graduate and also where the teachers are paid $100,000 a year with salary and benefits?

Private sector people are looking at it and saying that is it. We are done.

CAVUTO: Well, you know, I always say -- when we were in Wisconsin earlier this week, Governor, the one thing that rang true was the disconnect between what the mainstream media covered and what looked like the general crowd.

And I called this the magic bus when we were there. At first, I called it the Scooby-Doo bus, but they quickly told me Scooby-Doo had a van. What did I know?


CAVUTO: Then it was the Partridge Family bus.

But my point was, what was amazing about this bus, when it would drop people off, it would carry demonstrators to and from the town square in Madison. Hundreds of people would come out of this, so it was like a clown car, and then load them up again.

But in all seriousness, they never got the crowds they expected in Madison.


CAVUTO: And now I am beginning to wonder whether these massive protests that were thought to be the stuff of a huge upswing in support of the president are really there at all.

HUCKABEE: I don't think so.

And one of the things that was demoralizing to a lot of those union people was that the president didn't show up to lift a finger. The only finger he lifted and I don't think it was the middle finger...

CAVUTO: Careful.

HUCKABEE: ... but I believe it was -- it may be one finger -- and that was to tweet a midnight message saying, good luck.

Well, when you are out there marching the streets and knocking on doors and the best the president who says he will stand with -- the best he can do is a tweet, that's an insult.

CAVUTO: But I could understand his doing it politically. Right?

HUCKABEE: I understand politically.

CAVUTO: He is just as popular in the state Governor Walker is, at least when we were there. So he figures I don't want to tick off these people. Right?

HUCKABEE: But you know what? He wouldn't be blamed for it not working, but he would have been given credit for having stood with the troops even as the Alamo had its last moments.

I think politics capital -- I think differently. I understand why you don't go and I realize the political conventional wisdom is you do not dare send him in there. But here's what I think ought to be thrown away, is the traditional political conventional wisdom.

He should have gone for the simple reason that even if the outcome wasn't good, he identifies with those folks who are fighting to the last breath and he spends a little political capital but I think encourages troops, not necessarily in Wisconsin -- maybe it wouldn't change the outcome -- but in other states to say he won't forget us.

What he told them in Wisconsin, which reverberated in places like Michigan, is he will forget us, it is all about him. It's not about us.

CAVUTO: What are you doing this weekend?

HUCKABEE: We're going to have a great discussion on all of this issue of the private sector economy. We are also talking to Lanny Davis about the leaks coming out of -- well, maybe the White House, but they are certainly causing bipartisan angst. And huge story.

CAVUTO: Yes, even the Democrats are saying enough already.


CAVUTO: You can catch that tomorrow on "Huckabee," Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. It repeats Sunday.

HUCKABEE: It does.

CAVUTO: That's when you rub salt in the wound.

HUCKABEE: Because people want to watch it twice. They just can't get enough.

CAVUTO: Who doesn't?


CAVUTO: They don't know -- you can hit play and record, too, by the way.


CAVUTO: That works.

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