Gov. Norm Bangerter says he would love to have lunch and dinner every day with Ted Wilson - at least if he could debate him.
"That would show a difference," Bangerter told Provo residents at a town meeting in Provo Friday.The governor's response came after several members of the audience told him they planned on voting for him this November in the governor's race but wanted to know what makes him better than Wilson.
Wilson, the Democratic incumbent in the race, says he is going to cut taxes and raise wages at the same time.
"I'm not going to play that game," Bangerter said. "If I thought he could do it I'd vote for him myself."
When he ran for governor four years ago, Bangerter said, he didn't make many promises, but "I promised I would call it like I see it, assess the challenges the state faces and come up with the best solutions I can."
Since his election, the governor said he has concentrated on the three E's - education, economic development and efficiency in government.
For every 100 working Utahns ages 18 to 65, 47 Utahns attend a public school. The national average is 31, Bangerter said.
"This means we have 55 percent more students. What are the budget implications? You have to look at the whole pie.
"I get a little disturbed when educators say I'm not their friend. They are the only ones getting money from the tax rollbacks. I've had absolutely zero cooperation from the UEA (Utah Education Association). I have a tough time communicating with educators because the education organization is attacking me at every occasion."
Bangerter said the economic development in the state is moving because employment is at 5 percent - the lowest it's been in a decade.
"Today we have one of the best comprehensive economic development offices in the nation," he said.