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CBS's Smith to Haley Barbour: 1994 GOP Win 'Didn't End So Well'

In an interview with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith was already predicting failure if the GOP won control of Congress: "1994 was an important year for Republicans....Some people would say that didn't end so well for the Republicans, especially with the stalemated government. Have you any concerns that that might happen again?"

Barbour, who is also head of the Republican Governors Association, shot back: "It's going to be up to the President. I think the Republicans are going to hear the people very plainly, 'cut out all this spending, don't raise our taxes. Focus on job creation, economic growth.' What's the President going to hear? And I can't answer that."

Earlier in the interview, Smith was incredulous of a Republican pledge to cut spending in the new Congress: "One of the promises is they're going to cut $100 billion out of the budget in this first year. Is that really possible?" Barbour cited significant spending cuts in state governments as evidence: "$100 billion is less than 3% of the federal budget. In Mississippi, our appropriations this year are 13.3% below where they were two years ago....In Virginia, they've just cut their spending by billions of dollars. I mean, the idea that the federal government can't save 3%, the American people know better than that."

Here is a full transcript of the November 1 interview:

7:04AM ET

HARRY SMITH: Also in Washington for an exclusive interview, is Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Governor, good morning.

HALEY BARBOUR: Hey, Harry, good morning.

SMITH: So Republicans predicted to win big in the House tomorrow. Are you going to go so far as to say they're going to take the Senate, too?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: One Day To Go; GOP's Plan for Shifting Balance of Power]

BARBOUR: Well, I hope it's as good as Bill Plante says. I think it is highly likely we will win a majority in the House. But, it's harder in the Senate. It's more of a stretch. We have to win a net of ten. I think we'll make significant gains in the Senate but I don't know if we can make it to ten. You have to run the table.

SMITH: Yeah. You know an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal editorial page today and it says that last - the last election was a voting out the other party and that this election, again, will be the same thing, that Americans are going to vote out the party in power. What promise can you make that what Americans are yearning for will be answered in the election tomorrow?

BARBOUR: I think it's a very important observation that this is a referendum on Obama's policies and the American people do not like Obama's policies. They don't like all of this outrageous spending. They don't like running up the deficits. They don't like piling trillions of dollars of debt on our children and grandchildren, and they don't think it works. They think it's been bad for the economy, that it has made it harder to create jobs.

SMITH: But if that's-

BARBOUR: So we Republicans - we have to understand they're not saying 'hey, we love you Republicans,' they're saying, 'we're not satisfied with this and we'll give you guys a chance.'

SMITH: Okay. Because that becomes interesting. If that's true now and that was true two years ago, what do the Republicans understand now that they didn't understand two years ago?

BARBOUR: Well, I think, very importantly, what you're going to see is the Republicans are going to respond to what the American people are saying. Less spending, no taxes, no-

SMITH: $100 billion - one of the promises is they're going to cut $100 billion out of the budget in this first year. Is that really possible?

BARBOUR: Harry, $100 billion is less than 3% of the federal budget. In Mississippi, our appropriations this year are 13.3% below where they were two years ago. I was on TV yesterday with Tim Kaine, the Democratic National Chairman, a very nice guy, by the way. In Virginia, they've just cut their spending by billions of dollars. I mean, the idea that the federal government can't save 3%, the American people know better than that.

SMITH: Last but not least, a lot of people are wondering, 1994 was an important year for Republicans and Republicans swept in two years after Bill Clinton took office. Some people would say that didn't end so well for the Republicans, especially with the stalemated government. Have you any concerns that that might happen again?

BARBOUR: Well, I think it's very likely. It's going to be up to the President. I think the Republicans are going to hear the people very plainly, 'cut out all this spending, don't raise our taxes. Focus on job creation, economic growth.' What's the President going to hear? And I can't answer that.

SMITH: Alright.

BARBOUR: We're going to have to hear from the President.

SMITH: Last but not least, are you going to run for president?

BARBOUR: Well, after this election's over, we'll sit down and see if there's anything to think about, but I appreciate the idea.

SMITH: Governor Barbour, as always, a pleasure to speak with you, thanks so much for your time.

BARBOUR: Thank you, Harry.

SMITH: Alright, take care. Maggie.

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: That is not a no. We will watch that.

-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.