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Interview with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Interview with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

By John King, USA - February 16, 2012

BOLDUAN: We will definitely see. You will be there, covering it all. Gloria, get some sleep. Thank you so much. Talk to you later.

So Romney got some help today in Michigan picking up the endorsement of the state's Republican governor, Rick Snyder. We spoke with the governor earlier this afternoon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN: Governor, General Motors today reported record profits, $7.6 billion. And back in '09 President Obama was criticized really from the left and from the right on his decision to bail out the auto industry. So is today's news a vindication of sorts for that controversial move? You're on the ground.

GOV. RICK SNYDER (R), MICHIGAN: Yes, well, I don't look at it that way. The way I view it as is, it's not right to armchair quarterback the history of that situation. The more important thing is, is it got done, and the auto industry is going great. So it's great to see the success. I'm very proud of the auto industry in Michigan. We're the auto capital.

The big question I would hope we'd be asking our political people in this election is, is what are we going to do to reduce the unemployment rate by half, rather than rehash what went on with the auto bailout.

BOLDUAN: On that very -- on that very point, the other big story of the day I want to now turn to the race for the White House. You announced that you're endorsing Mitt Romney today.

But, you know, you have a couple of things going on here. You have your endorsement. You also, as you well know, had Romney really slamming that auto bailout back when it happened. I want to read to you his words, which I know you have heard before. "Crony capitalism on a grand scale. Even worse," he says, "than bankruptcy. It would make -- it would make G.M. the living dead."

So how do you square that criticism coming from Governor Romney with your endorsement? I mean, you said it yourself. This is really the industry in your state.

SNYDER: Well, I don't have an issue with that. Because again, I'm not going to go revisit the past. I want to look towards the future.

And I'm excited to endorse Governor Romney because of his stand on jobs and economic growth. The biggest issue in front of us is how do we create more jobs in our country.

Michigan is one of the comeback stories in the United States right now. We're doing really well because we didn't spend our time on divisiveness. It's about coming together, finding common ground and moving ahead. And Governor Romney has got a great background for that and good plan, so I'm excited to support him.

BOLDUAN: Do you think, though, those words could come back to haunt him in this primary?

SNYDER: Well, that's always within of the challenges. Again, I trust his judgment on that. As a practical matter again, I look forward to the future. Because that's what our constituents really care about. Too much time spent on the past. We've got a very troubled national government.

Again our state's doing well. And one of the things holding us back is what's going on in Washington between the budget, the deficit, all those kind of questions. We need to get that straightened out, and there'll be more jobs for all of us.

So I just encourage Washington to move forward, and let's get the right leadership there.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about some important numbers today. Mitt Romney, he calls himself a son of Detroit. His father was governor there for six years. Yet Romney is, surprisingly right now, trailing Rick Santorum by four points in the "Detroit News" poll. Why isn't this plain and simply a slam-dunk for Mitt Romney?

SNYDER: Well, you never take things for granted. And it's great to have Mitt in the state campaigning. I think you're going to see that turn around. I think people are really going to respond. Because it should be about more and better jobs and the future for our children. And he's got a very strong plan. And that's why I'm very supportive. And I think that's going to resonate well with Michiganders.

BOLDUAN: I have to ask you probably the most important, crucial q question of the day, Governor. Mitt Romney was asked yesterday about your Detroit Tigers. And here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tigers or Red Sox?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, Red Sox I'm afraid. I've lived in Massachusetts for how many years now? Forty years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Governor, I have family that live in Detroit. My husband is from Detroit. How can you stand for that kind of an answer with the man you have endorsed?

SNYDER: Well, no one's perfect. We all have our challenges. And on the common ground issues we agree. But as a practical matter, Detroit's the sports city in the country. I mean we've got the Tigers, the Lions, the Red Wings, the Pistons and we're just going to keep going. So if you want great sports, Michigan's the place to be.

BOLDUAN: I'll tell you, my husband very excited about prince fielder. That pickup for the Tigers, that will take on the Red Sox any day. Thank you, Governor, so much for your time.

SNYDER: I like that passion. Thanks. It was great to be with you. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much. We'll see you at the primary.

(END VIDEOTAPE) 

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