Rick Perry: Transcript of ABC/Yahoo News Exclusive Interview


What I'm all about is the environment where entrepreneurs are comfortable that they can risk their capital-- have a return on their investment, that's how jobs are created. That's how we've done it in-- in the State of Texas. And I'll suggest to you it will work for this country. So focusing upon the environment that's created for job creation is what the President of the United States should be doing rather than dividing this country.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: We'll talk a little bit about what you're talking about-- division in a moment. But first, you concede that your flat tax would bring in less revenue than the current tax code. And you've basically said that you're proposing that some way to s-- you know, to bridge that gap would be to do a lot of budget cuts.

Given the fact that new figures are coming out practically daily on the level of poverty in this country is something like 16 percent live in extreme poverty. The disparity of income, how will you ensure, with all these cuts, that those who need the help the most, those who need the government programs the most will not be left out in the cold?

RICK PERRY: Well, safety nets are important. But the best-- safety net for an American is have access to a job. And again, that goes right back to our focus upon making sure that we put policies in place. Tax policy, regulatory policy in particular, that entices, if you will, gives incentives, to the job creators to create jobs.

I don't think there's anyone, or I haven't met many people that run up to me and say, "Gee, we want a government to take care of us from cradle to the grave." Most people really understand government is in the way, both tax wise and regulatory wise from the standpoint of how we get this country back workin' again. And people want the dignity to be able to take care of their family with a job. And that's what we're focused on.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: One of the ways to get jobs, most people say is by being more and more educated. At least that stands you in much better stead. And obviously you have-- cut quite a lot from the education budget, some $4 billion. Even though 80,000 more people are coming into the school system. How do you square the need for education with the massive cuts in the education budget?

RICK PERRY: Well, over the course of the decade that I've been-- the Governor of Texas, we have increased our spending by (LAUGH) substantial amounts.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: But Texas is still very close to the bottom when it comes to education in the country.

RICK PERRY: Well, depends on how you want to look at that. Our fourth and eighth grade African-American and-- Hispanic-- in math-- are some of the highest in the country. So, you know, people will pick and choose. We're putting more of our young people into college. We're giving them more opportunities.

We're expanding-- our grant programs where young people who might not, five years ago, thought they had a chance to have-- opportunity to go to college, they're being able to have that opportunity. So Texas is actually making, I would suggest, as good a progress, or better than any state in the nation from the standpoint--

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Are you satisfied with it?

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