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Welcome back to Huckabee this is our special Republican presidential forum.
And joining us now is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney governors good to see you and thank you for joining us thanks Mike.
And I'm gonna turn now you over to this Scott Pruitt for the first.
-- Scott and thank you by the way you and a a Pam and canned for proposes participating in this it's been an interesting -- to watch so far I hope it stays that way.
We'll get -- you've traveled Oklahoma and you know that Oklahoma is a leader in energy from falling gas to cold to win and so when energy CE o.s CEOs tell me that your EPA per year EPA administrator may not -- much different than presidents now.
We say -- that.
Well that they don't know what I would do if -- the president of the United States you know one of my good friends as Mike Leavitt.
Who was the EPA administrator under George W.
Bush and I've asked some of the oil and gas company executives what was alike and a Mike Leavitt and I said it was a whole lot better.
That is today.
I think the EPA has gotten -- -- -- control for a very simple reason.
It is a tool in the hands of the president.
To crush the private enterprise system.
To crush our ability to have energy whether it's oil gas coal nuclear there's a real effort on the part of some in the president's party.
The don't like.
The American enterprise system.
And are trying to find a way to do everything they can to impede the growth of our economy and our and our energy independence and I.
I look at the effort on the EPA -- to.
To stop and a step in the way of a fracking.
And -- eliminate the up a potential in some states to have.
Our access to natural gas and oil and say look this is all an effort to say let's -- solar and wind.
And and let's raise the cost of energy dramatically that's it in my view it's just entirely opposite of the view we'll get we need to have.
A federal government that sees its job as helping the private sector grow and thrive and add jobs -- -- he mentioned how talk fracturing.
Now and you know that that's revolutionize.
The natural gas injuries as far as extracting natural gas the states have promising in that area right now regulations standpoint.
The current EPA administrator is marching -- word.
Having the federal government oversee hydraulic fracturing -- put a stop to that oh absolutely we get here.
If you -- that the nail on the head -- I think the EPA and those extreme voices in the environmental community and in the president's own party.
-- are just frustrated beyond belief.
That the states have the regulatory authority or authority -- fracking.
And and right now I guess -- the -- -- close to 70% of the oil wells in this country have been tracked so that the State's been -- this managed it well.
But the EPA wants to be able to get in -- grabbed.
And and basically trying to move the whole economy away from oil gas coal nuclear and push it into the renewables look we all like the renewables.
But -- -- alone are not gonna power this economy.
And yeah I would among other things -- get the EPA out of it if its effort to it to manage carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks look.
That was that was not a -- and within the -- Of the legislation that authorized EP it is of all the agencies and agencies in Washington.
It is the one most being used by this president to try and hold down crush.
And then insert the federal government into the life for the -- -- governor.
In a general election debate.
President Obama will say that his health care law was based on your Massachusetts model what would be your response to the president in that debate.
I sure look forward to that because I'll say Mr.
President thank you for the compliment but why didn't you give me a call.
What what did you pick up the phone and asked me what I do differently what I do this time.
What did you ask me what the flaws Hillary and -- -- -- -- plan you know would you do differently Paula a lot of things actually the bill.
That I proposed was different in the final bill some measures in the final bill -- vetoed.
They were overridden by the legislature and actually I'm sure that in the years that have passed some things have been seen to have gone well some things needed to be adjusted and improved.
So -- do elected bill overall yes in my proud of what we did for our state yes what the president has done.
He is way beyond what we -- we were trying to take care the 8% of our population that didn't have insurance.
The president is not just worried about the people without insurance.
Obama -- is about taking over a 100%.
Of the people's insurance in this country.
We would acknowledge you would agree -- you that even when you're taking trying to take care that 8%.
What you did in that bill in Massachusetts in 2006 affected the entire industry in Massachusetts correct well is intended to.
In it in a very limited way if -- if at all for the 92% of people who already have insurance nothing changed.
They that continue to get insurance from their private -- Insurance companies and the 8% by the way.
Also got private insurance and get government insurance they got private insurance so for the 92% of us that were already insured.
Nothing changed we had hoped.
The what we did would help bring down the cost of health -- even in a modest way that didn't happen there's some who say it's come down a little bit but.
Or that the rate of growth has come down a little bit but but in terms of getting down that cost of health -- that's a real objective that we ought to be looking at the federal level.
That -- governor Romney in 2000 -- -- you campaigned in favor of the federal No Child Left Behind daft but more recently you've stated that the federal government should get out of education.
Under a Romney educate under -- Romney administration.
What role with the federal government play in setting education policy.
Well let me say that I continue to support aspects of No Child Left Behind I'm not looking to change that position and anyway.
My view is that the federal government has a role to stand up to the federal teachers' unions.
The federal teachers' unions are impeding the education of our kids by preventing in some cases cyber learning.
Preventing choices schools preventing merit pay for the best teachers in some cases keeping teachers are really unqualified allowing them to stay in the classroom.
And President Bush recognized that the only way for us to determine.
Which schools for succeeding and which for failing which teachers were succeeding and which for failing.
What's to test our kids.
And that at the the only way that can happen.
-- for the federal government to stand up to these huge federal teachers' unions that have massive resources huge number of members he stood up to -- I look for the day.
What we don't have to have that federal because education should be held at the local level should be managed and controlled by states by localities.
By spat out by pat -- parents and families.
And not by the federal government but the role of insisting that we're gonna test our kids which was put in place by No Child Left Behind was an effort by President Bush to say stop to the teachers unions.
So quickly governor Romney would -- support federal assistance for school lunch pell grants and GI -- There's a whole series of of items there some in some cases yes in some cases no.
-- -- most of the programs deal with the poor.
And any mention pell grants or assistance for lunch.
I look at a lot of the programs for the -- -- -- examine them one by one but I think most of them I'm gonna turn the money back to the states and say you should craft.
The plans in the way you think best to care for your own port it's different being -- in Massachusetts.
That in Mississippi or Montana or my.
Michigan and -- states craft their programs for Medicaid differences -- also potentially for housing vouchers potentially for for food stamps.
Even for for school lunch programs and governor in.
-- next administration isn't this administration starting the -- there may be several appointments to US Supreme Court.
Now you said that you won't appoint strict constructionist to the bench did.
That's more than a label to me and I think to us on the panel.
What does that mean to you to appoint a strict constructionist -- is -- -- -- Supreme Court.
I thought I'd like people who recognize.
That their job is to protect the constitution.
And a follow the constitution as it was written and tended.
And a follow laws of congress has written and intended.
Rather than have in the Supreme Court see its role as springing from or departing from the constitution and laws to put in place their own views.
And so -- look at the opinions of the last.
Several years by justices like Robertson and Alito.
Thomas Scalia and I say these people are strict constructionist I want justices that are brilliant.
Strict constructionist who were able to convince their colleagues at their right -- -- and issues who share my values.
And I want to see people who have an extensive track record either as jurists.
Or on if they've been in that in the -- -- the academic profession I wanna see what they've written I wanna see a real track record.
I don't want to just have to take their word for being a strict constructionist I wanna see it in practice.
And governor Romney it's -- change subject.
This is you know they're helpless illegal immigrants coming into my state and Florida given the federal government's complete failure to do their constitutional duty.
And protect my state in securing the border.
What -- Florida do to address this problem.
-- my view is that states have a responsibility.
To care for the life liberty.
And pursuit of happiness of their citizens.
And at the federal government is failing to fulfill its responsibility to enforce immigration laws and state should have to take action.
In my state when I was governor.
I took action there was an effort on the part of the legislature to pass a bill -- providing in state tuition to illegal immigrants by -- that there was discussion about driver's licenses for illegal immigrants I said no way.
I actually empowered our state police to work with -- To be able to carry out federal immigration laws to make sure that we found people who were in our state illegally that he committed crimes and got them out of the country.
I think we're gonna have to recognize however that the federal -- a step to step up and do its job securing the border we're just cracked down on employers and -- don't do their job.
This question to can -- an -- for for governor now other than overseeing historically questionable union elections is there any reason that labor law.
Has to be completely dominated by the federal government or can it be eliminated effectively.
And turned over to the states.
You know it I think that's a fair question that that.
-- does not actually cut PI exactly -- -- to be a solid -- -- -- but back in the days of law school and in labor law.
Classes -- discussions there's a real question is do we need to have federal label labor law.
And and that's where where things have evolved I think the first step we have to take his two completely revamp the National Labor Relations Board if not eliminated altogether.
And and turned back to to courts or to an agency that has much shorter -- Decisions relating to labor law.
But but my own view is that that that states should be putting in place right to work laws.
To allow the people of their states to participate in the workforce without having to join -- union.
And and federal law that sounds candlelight and may be on the on the getting rid of in Lebanon -- about twenty seconds left at at this stage can I would not propose getting rid of all federal labor labor law.
But I do see we have did.
Rain in the the power of the National Labor Relations Board and see how much we could return to the states my preference by the way.
That -- where ever we can return power and authority to the states and we've got.
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