HH: Joined now by the outgoing Governor of the great state of Colorado, Bill Owens. Hello, Governor. How are you?
BO: Well, I’m fine, Hugh, except your mountains have a lot of snow.
HH: Well, my mountains have always been well tended, but I’m afraid about the incoming governor. I hope he will reconfirm my appointment as Warden of the Collegiate Peaks.
BO: Well, I sure expect he should, since he knows what’s good for him. And how are you?
HH: I’m good, and congratulations on eight fine years as governor. What’s ahead for Bill Owens?
BO: Well, thank you very much. I’m going to do a lot of things in the private sector, and put a couple of kids through college, and continue to listen to the Hugh Hewitt Show.
HH: Are you going to do those from Colorado? Or are you going to go back East?
BO: You know, I’m going to have an office here, and I’m going to work quite a bit out of the East Coast as well. I’m going to do some things internationally in banking, and just…I’m excited about it, but it has been fun for these eight years, and I’ve certainly enjoyed going on your show once a month.
HH: I’ve appreciated it, Governor. Let me ask you as the Democrats take over, as all these changes are happening, I hope you’ve heard about all these changes at the Bush White House today, Miers out, Abizaid and Casey out…
HH: What do you expect for the next two years? You’ve dealt with a Democratic legislature. What’s George Bush got ahead of him?
BO: Well, here’s what I think is going to happen, and I think certainly, our party has learned some lessons, and defeat has the wonderful capacity of concentrating the mind. We got a little bit fat, we got a little bit happy. Now, we’re going to see Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. We’re going to see what happens, that elections have consequences. I think it’s going to help unite us for 2008. We’re going to have the very real spectre of Hillary Clinton as a president with a Democratic Congress. That’s going to let some of the little differences we sometimes fight about in our party, pale in significance. So it’s a tough time for us, but I think we’re actually going to come back and win the presidency in ’08
HH: Now Governor Owens, have you been talking with the leading Republican candidates? Have you got a favorite in the race?
BO: I have been talking to the leading Republican candidates, and I like Mitt Romney. I think when your earlier caller was asking about somebody who has real substance, and I realize that some of us who are conservatives, there have been some questions. But I think that Mitt Romney’s a conservative, and I think he can win. But I also like John McCain. I’m not being political here. I’m not one of these anti-McCain people. I want a winner, and somebody that’s going to be with me 80% of the time, both of them would be, and I’m for Romney, but not against McCain.
HH: Now I saw…you know, you worked with Romney at the Governor’s Association, both the Republican and the national. Explain to people what you see in his candidacy?
BO: Well, I think he’s one of the brightest people I’ve ever seen in public office. He’s a businessman, he’s a manager. He understands markets, he understands the private sector. He is a conservative, he wants to cut taxes. You know, he’s a Republican who was elected in Massachusetts, which has about 12% of its voters who are Republican. He was able to win that election, and we saw what he did at the Olympics. His foreign policy experience isn’t substantial, but I know he’s a conservative on foreign policy in the sense of understanding the role of America in the world…
HH: Quick question, Governor, before we run out of time. If Doc Allard doesn’t run for re-election, might Bill Owens for the Senate?
BO: I don’t think so, but I think we’ve got some outstanding candidates out here, and we’re going to win that seat. The Republicans are going to win that seat in 2008, and for some of the reasons we just went through. We’re going to be a lot more united than we’ve been.
HH: Governor Bill Owens, it’s been a pleasure. I look forward to talking to you when you’re a member of the private sector.
End of interview.