Shoppers curb spending in May

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 29, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Consumers clamping down, spending falling down, flat on its face, in fact. Restaurants and retailers not bringing it in like they used to. Did you see this?

And if that isn't bad enough, there is a federal task force that is now recommending a program for obesity counselors that could just stick a fork in them.

To CKE Restaurant CEO Andy Puzder.

I'm always amazed, Andy. In your case, you are thin, you're fit as a fiddle and you run one of the biggest fast food behemoths in the country, so my hats off to you. But I'm curious of what you make of this now. We have seen people pulling back. I don't know what have seen at your chain. And I know you are in your quiet period, so I won't compromise that.

But I am wondering about this move to add insult possibly to injury for obesity counselors in the health care law, they are going to guilt your customers out.

ANDREW PUZDER, PRESIDENT & CEO, CKE RESTAURANTS: Look, like our competitors, we all have healthy items on the menu and we are all happy to sell healthy items. So that is not a big concern to us, although I will tell you that we did some testing at our company, medical testing for health.

And actually, at 6 foot, 190 pounds, I tested as obese. So we are going to have to work on the definition of obese, I think.


CAVUTO: You tested as obese? Geez, then I would be a planetary system.


CAVUTO: I have seen you. You're -- my goodness.


CAVUTO: But here is what worries me about that. Leave the do- goodedness out of it and the crazy numbers to it.

But I just think that there will be a push as this law sort of seeps into the culture to almost make it look like you shouldn't go out to eat or you shouldn't certainly go out and chow down a burger, because there might be spies at the next booth writing down everything you are doing, you know?

PUZDER: Well, the extension of federal power under this decision is actually very scary. But I think that the bigger problem is that this bill is such a job- killer. It not only kills the creation of new jobs, because businesses don't use things that get more expensive. The more expensive something gets, the less you use it. You make labor more expensive, you are going to use less labor and you're going to build fewer new businesses. So, you have got that contraction.

But you have also got people coming out now and saying, look, the only way my business can survive if ObamaCare takes effect in 2014 is if I make my employees all part-time employees. So you are going to take existing jobs and make them part-time jobs.

So, it is a job-killing bill. It was bad policy before the Supreme Court's decision and its bad policy now. It was unpopular before and it is unpopular now.


CAVUTO: I think it is bigger than that, Andy. I think it is bigger than that, because I think it gets back to an American pastime issue that supersedes job security.

I think now it is going to compel guys like you -- and you do have a lot of healthy items on your menu. I would avoid them, but I understand a lot of healthy people like you of course leap at them and that is great.

But I am, in all seriousness, saying that I think now there will be a push to do -- even do more of that, and then take back some of the items that you have on the menu that might not be as healthy. In other words, you will be suddenly browbeaten down to offer what I guess is politically correct fare.

PUZDER: Well, and, in fact, under this decision, there is really not a lot the government can't do in that respect.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

PUZDER: The government could tax you for not buying broccoli or for not buying a Chevy Volt or for eating cheeseburgers.

It's really a very -- it's a very scary decision. I think the first thing we have to do is deal with the issue of ObamaCare. And we can restrict it or, as Governor Romney's promised, repeal and replace it. He says that's -- he will do that day one. He will do -- what the Supreme Court was afraid to do on the last day of its session, he will do on his first day in office, and that is great.

And then we have to really come to grips with this issue of federal power and what the federal government can do, how much it can interfere in our lives, how much it can take our liberty away. This decision is very bad in that respect.

CAVUTO: OK... Now, I know you are an adviser. Many people say you could be a treasury secretary, a commerce secretary in a Romney administration.


CAVUTO: We have got to get that out there.

PUZDER: I have a job. I have got a job.

CAVUTO: We know where your bias lies.

I know. I know.

But there are others who are saying this was good news for Mitt Romney, that it galvanized his campaign. Are you in that crowd that this has enraged people and that -- because I don't see it, but what do you see?

PUZDER: Well, you know, knowing Mitt Romney, I can tell you Mitt Romney doesn't want anything that is bad for the country to happen, whether it is part of the campaign or not.

And he believes this wasn't good for the country. Now, it may be good politically for his campaign, because it certainly energized people.

CAVUTO: Right.

PUZDER: This is the issue that turned the 2010 elections.

So you wonder what impact it will have in 2012. It certainly helps fund-raising. But that is a separate issue. Politically, it could be very beneficial to the governor. I hope that it is, because I think we can solve this problem if it is.

CAVUTO: All right.

PUZDER: However, it is not good for the country, and I think that is a much more important issue.

CAVUTO: Andy, it's always a pleasure. Thank you very, very much, Andy Puzder.

PUZDER: Same here, Neil. Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right.

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