Interview With Former Texas Governor Rick Perry



Perry; Government; Republican Party>

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, well, the president right now is taking aim at a lot of companies that do some sort of fast and loose things when it comes to avoiding taxes here.

A former Republican presidential candidate, Texas Governor Rick Perry, on that.

Governor, always a pleasure.


CAVUTO: I know you`re backing Ted Cruz.

I don`t know his specific views on inversion, this idea of companies that go abroad to take advantage of lower tax rates there, in the case of Pfizer, scooping up the Irish firm Allergan to take advantage of much lower tax rates in Ireland, reincorporate there.

Now you have signs that the president is changing the rules, saying you can`t do that. What do you think of that?

PERRY: Well, there`s two issues at hand here.

One is, why are people moving offshore? And that`s pretty obvious. We got, in most cases, the highest corporate tax rate in the world. If the president wants to address why businesses are leaving this country, he ought to address the corporate tax rate, not decide arbitrarily that he`s going to change the rules in the middle of the game.

And the second issue here is, I will be real honest with you. I`m not sure the Treasury Department has the authority to do what they`re talking about doing. So, two big issues. If the president truly cares about creating jobs and wealth and building the economy up in America, lower the corporate tax rate, quit all of this slight of hand, if you will, by changing the rules in the middle of the game and talking bad about American businesses that are trying to make their bottom line stronger because the corporate tax rate is so high in America.

CAVUTO: No, you raise a very good point, that they wouldn`t even be thinking of doing this if it wasn`t, you know, so mathematically in their interest to do so.

But do you think that Republicans have to have a better response on this, Governor, your own candidate included, that even Donald Trump has said these inversions irk him, that a lot of companies do try to dodge taxes here by playing fast and loose with the accounting rules?

So, oddly enough, the front-runner right now for the Republican nomination is kind of on the same page as Barack Obama. What do you think of that?

PERRY: Well, I think we need to talk about how do you make businesses welcome in this country.

We did that in the state of Texas over the 14 years that I was governor. It`s the reason that we created more jobs and more businesses moved here. You move to where -- capital flows to where it`s most welcome. And we did that in the state of Texas. Same is true at the national level.

If you make businesses welcome in this country, they will stay here. This isn`t rocket science. But if all you`re interested in is creating more and more tax burdens, so that you can fill the treasury up, then businesses are going to continue to find ways to get out from under that heavy hand of government taxation.

CAVUTO: Do you feel that if Republicans don`t have a better response on this issue, though, they look and sound like they`re in the hip pocket of fat cats?

PERRY: Well, I think the proper response is, let`s lower the corporate tax rate and let`s put some common sense into the regulatory climate. Let`s give businesses reasons to stay in this country, and quit looking for ways to help their bottom line.


PERRY: That`s the real conservative message. And, frankly, I think it`s the right message.

CAVUTO: Now, I understand you watch obviously all the election returns as they come in and that you`re partial to watching them on FOX Business, I understand, not anyplace else. That is about right, isn`t it?


PERRY: Is there another place?

CAVUTO: Thank you.


CAVUTO: All right, Governor Rick Perry, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you very much.

PERRY: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: That was completely unrehearsed, America.


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