Eric Schmidt Talks Google, Apple, Energy, Obama With Jim Cramer

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt was on Jim Cramer’s Mad Money this evening to talk about a wide range of issues, from Obama to Steve Jobs.

On Google killing its print ads business: “That particular product didn’t work particularly well and we’re trying other solutions. Print is a hard one because they have declining ad revenue and higher print costs. And so we’re trying other solutions. Ultimately most people will get their information online.”

On Steve Jobs’ health: “Speaking as a board member, we recognized that Steve needed a medical leave and we announced on that. And that’s my only comment on that. Apple’s doing very well, the product’s doing very well.”

On energy: “The part of the stimulus package includes money to modernize the electric grid to make it look more like the Internet. A lot more flexible as it moves power around without this smart grid we won’t make any of this happen.”

On Obama: “I have [spoken with Obama] just a little bit and they’re really, really focused on moving very, very quickly. I think everybody understands that a new president has a honeymoon period in that honeymoon period they can get the most ambitious agendas. In his inauguration speech yesterday you could hear the same things themes in his campaign. The notion of dealing with the way that the country is perceived globally as well as economic stimulus there in a hurry and need to be.”

The full transcript is below (please forgive the all caps, it’s what CNBC supplied):

CRAMER: WE’RE ABOUT TO HEAR FROM CRAMER FAVE ERIC SCHMIDT THE CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF GOOGLE BUT HE’S NOT HERE TO TALK ABOUT HIS COMPANY WHICH WAS UP A COOL 20 POINTS TODAY. NO.ERIC IS HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE MOST-IMPORTANT WORRY IN AMERICA,OTHER THAN HOUSE PRICE DEPRECIATION, OUR SKY-ROCKETING RATE OF UNEMPLOYMENT. THE NEED TO PUT PEOPLE TO WORK INCLUDING IN TECHNOLOGY.REMEMBER, ERIC SCHMIDT ISN’T JUST GOOGLE’S CEO. HE’S ALSO BEEN A PRINCIPLE ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SERVING ON OBAMA’S ECONOMIC TRANSITION TEAM. I BELIEVE THE MOST IMPORTANT TRANSITION TEAM TO SERVE ON. WHY DO WE CARE? BECAUSE I DON’T THINK IT’S ENOUGH TO SIMPLY BUILD BRIDGES AND PAVE SOME ROADS WITH THE STIMLUS PACKAGE.A LOT OF WHITE COLLAR PEOPLE WHO LOST THEIR JOBS WHO WOULDN’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE UNFORTUNATELY BETWEEN PLAYING BRIDGE AND BUILDING ONE. WE NEED TO CREATE WHITE-COLLAR JOBS AND PUT THESE PEOPLE BACK TO WORK. AND WHEN IT COMES TO THAT ISSUE SCHMIDT HAS THE BEST INSIGHT PERHAPS AS ANYONE ON EARTH. HE’S THE MAN THAT PRESIDED OVER GOOGLE’S EXPANSION FROM AN ITTY-BITTY COMPANY IN 2001 WHEN HE BECAME CEO TO A TECH BOHEMITH WITH OVER 20,000 EMPLOYEES. SCHMIDT WAS THE CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF SUN MICROSOFTSYSTEMSBACK IN ITS HAYDAY WORKING THERE FROM 1983-1997 WHEN HE BECAME CEO OF NOVELL. IF ANYONE KNOWS HOW TO CREATE WHITE-COLLAR JOBS ESPECIALLY IN THE TECH SECTOR ITS HIM. NOW BARACK OBAMA HAS YET TO APPOINT HAS CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FOR THE NATION.A BRAND-NEW POSITION THAT COULD HAVE A HUGE HAND IN CREATING NUMEROUS WHITE-COLLAR JOBS.BACK IN OCTOBER, ERIC SCHMIDT TOLD US HE WOULDN’T TAKE THEJOB. ONE OF THE LEADING CONTENDERS A MAN NAMED VINCE SURF A MAN WHO IS CONSIDERED TO BE ONE OF THE FATHERS OF THE INTERNET AN IDOL OF MINE WORKS FOR SCHMIDT AT GOOGLE AS THE CHIEF INTERNET EVANGELIST. ED FELDON.ANOTHER CONTENDER FOR OBAMA’S CTO. HE’S A PROMINENT COMPUTER SCIENCE EXPERTAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROFESSOR AT PRINCETON. WHERE SCHMIDT IS ON THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES.LET’S HEAR FROM THE MAN HIMSELF.CAN WE GET A BIG BOO-YAH FOR GOOGLE’S ERIC SCHMIDT. HOW HAVE YOU BEEN? NICE TO SEE YOU.

SCHMIDT: NICE TO SEE YOU GUYS.

CRAMER: ERIC, WELCOME BACK

SCHIMIDT: THANK YOU.

CRAMER: FIRST, LET’S GET IT OUT OF WAY.

SCHMIDT: YES.

CRAMER: YOU THOUGHT —

SCHMIDT: WHERE IS YOUR HELMET.

CRAMER: I DON’T NEED A HELMET. WHEN WE ARE EXCITED.I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW ADMINISTRATION.

SCHMIDT: OKAY, GOOD.

CRAMER: AND I WANT TO KNOW FROM YOU WHETHER YOU THOUGHT LONG AND HARD AND I BELIEVE YOU WOULD BE THE BEST CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER THIS COUNTRY COULD HAVE. WHY NOT TAKE IT. WHY NOT HELP OUT.

SCHMIDT: BECAUSE I LIKE WORKING AT GOOGLE.

CRAMER: WELL WE ALL LIKE WHERE WE WORK I LIKE IT HERE.

SCHMIDT: I LIKE WORKING AT GOOGLE. I WILL STATE RIGHT HERE.

CRAMER: AND HAS HE COME BACK AND ASKED YOU, PRESIDENT OBAMA

SCHMIDT: LET ME JUST SAY I WANT TO STAY AT GOOGLE. THAT’S A PRETTY CLEAR ANSWER.

CRAMER: YEAH. I WILL NOT TAKE THAT AS A MAYBE. OKAY.

SCHMIDT: OKAY.

CRAMER: NOW WE NEED TO CREATE JOBS. WE KEEP HEARING ABOUT TERRIFIC BLUE-COLLAR OPPORTUNITIES. YOU’VE BEEN ADVISINGTHE PRESIDENT.I IMAGINE NOT JUST ON INFRASTRUCTURE, BUT ON WAYS TO CREATE CRITICAL WHITE COLLAR JOBS WHICH ARE BEING LOST BY THETHOUSANDS.WHAT ARE THE REAL OPPORTUNITIES TO PUT THESE PEOPLE TO WORK?

SCHMIDT: WELL, LOOK FIRST WE NEED TO CREATEJOBS ARE CREATED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR WHEN THEY INVENT AND CREATE NEW BUSINESSES. WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT.WE’VE ARGUED FOR A LONG TIME THAT THE USE OF THE INTERNET, PARTICULARLY THE BROADBAND INTERNET REALLY REALLY DOES PROVIDE THE LEVERAGE THAT EVERYBODY IS LOOKING FOR.GET EVERYBODY CONNECTED.MAKE IT POSSIBLE DO THINGS FROM WHEREVER YOU ARE, BE CREATIVE AND SO FORTH. IN THE BROADBAND STIMULUS PACKAGE. IN THE STIMULUS PACKAGE COMING THROUGH, COMING THROUGH MAYBE IN THE MIDDLE OF FEBRUARY, THERE IS A NEW ORDER OF $10 BILLION OF INFRASTRUCTURE MONEY TO BUILD A BROADBAND INTERNET IN THE RURAL AREA WHERE WE THINK A LOT OF TALENT — DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE KIND OF THE STUFF THAT THOSE IN THE CITY COULD USE.

CRAMER: NOW WE KNOW THAT CHINA FOR INSTANCE WILL SPEND $40 BILLION UPGRADING ITS TALCO INFRASTRUCTURE WHY CAN’T WE MIMIC THE CHINESE? WE COULD USE ALL NEW TELCO INFRASTRUCTURE

SCHMIDT: IN FACT THAT’S HAPPENING, RIGHT? AND THIS INFRASTRUCTURE IS PART OF THAT AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE’RE GOING TO THAT.AND I’M QUITE CERTAIN THAT BY THE TIME WE GET THROUGH THE HORSE TRADING AND SO FORTH PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE INVESTMENTTHAT NEEDS TO GET DONE HERE.

CRAMER: NOW WE HAVE SPENT THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION HAS SPENT HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TRYING TO SHORE UP A BANK SYSTEM WHICH HAS NOT CREATED ANY JOBS, HAS ACTUALLY LED TO TREMENDOUS UNEMPLOYMENT IN BANKS AND HAS NOT STEMMED THE BANKING CRISIS.DO YOU THINK THAT OBAMA, AGAIN, YOU’RE ON THE ECONOMIC TRANSITION TEAM, UNDERSTANDS THEFLAWS OF THAT AND WON’T — WANTS TO CHANGE THAT.

SCHMIDT: WELL IN FACT GEITNER SPOKE ABOUT THIS IN HIS CONFIRMATION HEARING YOU’VE GOT A JOBS PROBLEM ANDA CREDIT PROBLEM.THE JOBS PRO!LEM IS SOLVED BY STIMULUS SPENDING, HELPING PEOPLE CONTINUE TO HOLD THEIR HOMES AND SO FORTH AND MAKING ALL THAT HAPPEN THE BANKING CREDIT CRISIS.WHERE DID THE MONEY GO? DO YOU WHERE IT WENT.

CRAMER: YES, I DO.

SCHMIDT: $350 BILLION DOLLARS HAVE YOU EVER LOST THAT KIND OF MONEY.

CRAMER: NO I HAVEN’T BUT IF I WERE –LOOK I WILL NOT DEFEND A LOT OF THESE BANKS’ CEOs. MAY MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES AND THEY DESERVE A LOT OF THE APROBEIUM.BUT MOST OF THESE BANKS ARE SHORT OF CAPITAL AND THEY NEED THIS MONEY, IF ONLY JUST TO BE ABLETO TAKE THE CHARGES. I FEEL LIKE THEY WERE BETRAYED BECAUSE THEY WANT — A LOT OF ACQUIRING BANKS BOUGHT BAD MORTGAGES THINKING THEY COULD PUT THEM TO THE GOVERNMENT.

SCHMIDT: WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO DO IN THIS NEXT ROUND IS THEY’RE GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE TRANSPARENCY OFWHERE THIS MONEY GOES. ONE OF THE THINGS THE GOVERNMENTNEEDS TO CHANGE IS HOW IT TALKS ABOUT HOW TO MAKES ITS DECISIONS. WHY DON’T WE SEE THE EARMARKS WHEN THEY COME THROUGH? WHY DON’T WE SEE THE CHANGES? WHY DOESN’T THE GOVERNMENT POST ON OUR WEBSITE, VISIBLE TO YOUR FAVORITE SEARCH ENGINE. WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, NOT HAVE A YOU WOULD KNOW WHERE IT WENT.YOU’D SEE WHERE THE SPECIAL INTEREST REALLY ALIVE. IT WOULD BE A BETTER GOVERNMENT IF MORE TRANSPARENT.

CRAMER: DO YOU THINKIT WOULD BE POSSIBLE EXPLAIN A WAY, BAD DECISIONS, THOUGH, NO MATTER HOW TRANSPARENT.

SCHMIDT: YOU’D GET A BETTER OUTCOME WHEN EVERYBODY SEES WHAT’S GOING INTO THE SOUP.

CRAMER: OKAY.NOW ONE WAS THINGS THAT I’M LOOKING TO YOU INTO A LOT OF OTHER SMART PEOPLE.WE MENTIONED MR. SURF, IS SOMETHING WE HAVEN’T NEVER HEARD OF THE OTHER DAY i WAS HEARING FROM THE CRITICS LISTENED ALL DAY, PEOPLE ARE SAYING THERE IS NO SOLUTION TO THE BANKING CRISIS.ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I LIKE IS THE OUT OF THE BOX, TO USE THAT CLICHE, OBAMA THINK, LARRY SUMMERS’ THINKING, BUTTHE OUT OFTHE BOX THINKING OF WHAT WOULD BE THE GREAT MANHATTAN PROJECT OF THIS ERA?

SCHMIDT: WELL, IT’S OBVIOUS THAT WE NEED TO REBUILD THE ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE OF AMERICA.I DON’T BEEN YOU BUT I’M TIRED ABOUT THE WARS AND WORRYING ABOUT ARAB OIL.I’M TIRED ABOUT ALL OF THIS STUFF.WHY DON’T WE FIGURE OUT A WAY TO USE THE RESOURCES THAT AMERICA HAS. AMERICA HAS LAND, WIND AND SO FORTH AND I KNOW THAT THE OIL IS CHEAP AND YOUR MODEL IS $30 TO $50.

CRAMER: RIGHT.

SCHMIDT: OIL IS NOT GOING TO STAY THAT WAY FOREVER. LETS GET OURSELVES ORGANIZED AROUND JOBS THAT CAN REALLY CREATE SOMENEW INVESTMENTS AND NEW ECONOMIES AND BY THE WAY THE FUNDING THAT’S IN THE STIMULUS PACKAGE A LOT OF IT IS TO TRY TO GET THAT GOING AND THAT’S GOOD LONG-TERM INVESTMENT ON AMERICA.

CRAMER: BUT WHY AREN’T WE USING OUR BRAINS TO MAKE THE ENERGYTHAT WE DO HAVE, COLE, IN ABUNDANCE, NATURAL GAS IN ABUNDANCE, CLEANER AS A BRIDGE FUEL SO WE DON’T SET OURSELVES UP FOR FAILURE.

SCHMIDT: IN FACT, THAT’S HAPPENING. IF LOOKS LIKE CARBON SEQUESTRATION, COAL — BASICALLYTHE PROCESS OF PUTTING CARBON IN THE GROUND AND OTHERS, IT HAS HAD SOME SIGNIFICANCE — SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGHS.A LOT OF THESE INDUSTRIES GOT NOINVESTMENT THE LAST 30 YEARS. THEY WERE NOT VERY SEXY. THE SORT OF PROFESSORS ARE NOW RETIRING. A NEW GENERATION OF PEOPLE ARE COMING INTO UNIVERSITIES WHO WANT TO SOLVE THE GLOBAL ENERGY PROBLEM.PARTLY BECAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

CRAMER: RIGHT.

SCHMIDT: AND ALSO BECAUSE THERE IS JOBS CREATION GROWTH AND THERE ARE ALL THESE ISSUES WE TALK ABOUT THEM ALL THE TIME. IT’S A MUCH BIGGER INDUSTRY BY THE WAY THAN MY INDUSTRY WHICH IS THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.

CRAMER: YES IT IS.

SCHMIDT: SO LET’S FIX THAT.

CRAMER: NOW WE HAD A GOOD QUESTION ABOUT WHEN WOULD SOLAR COME BACK IN VOGUE?GIVEN THE FACT THAT WE HAVE TO SPEND SO MUCH MONEY TO SHORE UP THE BANKING SYSTEM, HOW WILL WE POSSIBLY HAVE ENOUGH MONEY LEFT OVER TO SUBSIDIZE SOLAR IN AN HERE WHERE OIL IS NO WHERE NEAR WHERE IT WAS A YEAR AGO?

SCHMIDT: YOU GOT LOOK AT THAT FROM THESTANDPOINT OF THE COST OF THE PLANTS.NOT THE COST OF OIL.OIL IS LARGELY A FUNCTION OF TRANSPORTATION. THE BASIC PROBLEM YOU’LL EITHER BUY THIS HUGE EXPENSIVE COAL PLANT OR WIND PLANT OR HUGE EXPENSIVE NATURAL GAS PLANT. RIGHT NOW THERE’S A PROBLEM THAT WIND FARMS ARE BEING BUILT RIGHT NEXT TO BRAND NEW GAS PLANT BECAUSE WIND DOESN’T BLOW ALL OF THE TIME. THE PART OF THE STIMULUS PACKAGE INCLUDES MONEY TO MODERNIZE THE ELECTRIC GRID TO MAKE IT LOOK MORE LIKE THE INTERNET. A LOT MORE FLEXIBLE AS IT MOVES POWER AROUND WITHOUT THIS SMART GRID WE WON’T MAKE ANY OF THIS HAPPEN.

CRAMER: DO YOU THINK THAT THERE IS ANYTHING ON THE HORIZON IN ‘WILL 89, ’90.INTEL SHRUNK THE SEMICONDUCTORS SO WELL BUT KEPT THE SPEED AND THE INTELLIGENCE OF THEM THAT WE HAD AN EXPLOSION IN PERSONAL COMPUTERS.IN THE MID ’90S WE HAD AN EXPLOSION FIRST IN E-MAIL AND THEN THE INTERNET TOOK OVER AND THEN THE SEARCH ENGINES.GIVE ME SOMETHING THAT NO ONE’S SEEING THAT YOU’RE PERHAPS NOTICING IN GOOGLE. YOU GUYS HAVE YOUR HANDS IN MANYDIFFERENT THINGS.

SCHMIDT: WELL, WE’VE GOT A COUPLE OF BETS IN THE ENERGY SECTOR WHICH ARE REALLY INTERESTING.PEOPLE ARE WORKING ON VERY, VERY AGGRESSIVE BIOFUEL STRATEGIES. WE MAKE THIS STUFF.LITERALLY GROWING IT FROM SUNLIGHT, RIGHT?AND ALL OF A SUDDEN —

CRAMER: BUT COULD THAT BE MASS EVERYTIME I HEAR ABOUT THESE IDEAS, IDON’T WANT TO SHARE THEM WITH MYVIEWERS IS IF SHOULD NO HOPE.

SCHMIDT: IT’S SCIENCE AND RESEARCH.IT’S NOT THIS YEAR BUT IT’S COMING. ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS IN PHOTO VOLTAICS — THE SEMICONDUCTOR PROCESSES ARE GETTING FASTER. WE CAN GETTHE KIND OF EFFICIENCIES THAT ARE UNHEARD OF BEFORE TO CONVERSE.THESE HERE IN DEVELOPMENT NOW.YOU WON’T SEE THEM THIS YEAR.MAYBE TWO, THREE YEARS FROM NOW.IN THE SHORTER TERM YOU’RE SEEING GREAT TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS IN BATTERIES AND HYBRIDS WHICH WILLHELP US A LOT IN THE TRANSPORTATION.

CRAMER: YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY AN INTERNET CEO. YOU I TEND TO LOOK AT INTERNET AS SOMEWHAT RAPACIOUS.IT HAS HURT A LOT OF PRODUCERS OF CONTENT BECAUSE OF IT COMMODITIZED IT. WHY SHOULD WE THINK THAT THE INTERNET CAN PUT MORE PEOPLE TO WORK WHEN IF YOU’RE WORKING IN A PRINT PUBLICATION A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT OF WORK.

SCHMIDT: WELL, THEY’RE WINNERS AND LOSERS IN ALL OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES AND THE FACT OF THEMATTER IS THE INTER’ET MAKES THEMARKET MORE EFFICIENT.WHICH OFTEN BRINGS — BRINGS PRICES DOWN WHICH IS A BENEFIT TO END USERS. ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF IT IS PROBABLY IS THE PIE GETS SO MUCH LARGER. AND NOW YOU HAVE A MUCH LARGER GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO MAKE LESS MONEY AND SO FORTH BUT IT’S SUCHA GLOBAL BUSINESS NOW THAT’S SOLUTION. BUILDING — USING THE INTERNET TO BUILD GLOBAL BUSINESSES HOW YOU REALLY WIN.

CRAMER: HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO PRESIDENT OBAMA IN THE LAST WEEK OR TWO ABOUT SOME OF THESE IDEAS THAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT?

SCHMIDT: I HAVE JUST A LITTLE BIT AND THEY’RE REALLY, REALLY FOCUSED ON MOVING VERY, VERY QUICKLY.I THINK EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS THAT A NEW PRESIDENT HAS A HONEYMOON PERIOD IN THAT HONEYMOON PERIOD THEY CAN GET THEIR MOST AMBITIOUS AGENDAS.IN HIS INAUGURATION SPEECH YESTERDAY YOU COULD HEAR THE SAME THINGS THEMES IN HIS CAMPAIGN.THE NOTION OF DEALING WITH THE WAY THAT THE COUNTRY IS PERCEIVED GLOBALLY AS WELL AS ECONOMIC STIMULUS THERE IN A HURRY AND NEED TO BE.

CRAMER: I KNOW YOU ARE REPORTING TOMORROW AND I’M IN THE TALKING ABOUT EARNINGS BUT IN THE NEWS TODAY, GOOGLE DISCONTINUES ITS PRINT RELATIONSHIP. IS PRINT MEDIA DEAD?

SCHMIDT: NO, NO NOT AT ALL.THAT PARTICULAR PRODUCT DIDN’T WORK PARTICULARLY WELL AND WE’RE TRYING OTHER SOLUTIONS. PRINT IS A HARD ONE BECAUSE THEY HAVE DECLINING AD REVENUE AND HIGHER PRINT COSTS.AND SO WE’RE TRYING OTHER SOLUTIONS.ULTIMATELY MOST PEOPLE WILL GET THEIR INFORMATION ONLINE.

CRAMER: OKAY, APPLE COMPUTER JUST REPORTED.IT REPORTED A MONSTER GOOD QUARTER. IT IS MOVING THINGS UP DRAMATICALLY.ARE WE AT A TIME WHEN THERE’S TREMENDOUS FINANCIAL CHICANERY?WHERE WHOLE BANKS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED.PEOPLE HAVE NO TRANSPARENCY.IS IT RIGHT FOR THE S.E.C. TO SPEND ALL OF ITS TIME TRYING TO INVEST OR AT LEAST A LOT OF ITS TIME TRYING TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER WE KNEW ABOUT THE TRUTH ABOUT THE UNBELIEVABLY GREAT CEO, STEVE JOBS’ HEALTH.

SCHMIDT: SPEAKING AS A BOARD MEMBER, WE RECOGNIZED THAT STEVE NEEDED A MEDICAL LEAVE AND WE ANNOUNCED ON THAT.AND THAT’S MY ONLY COMMENT ON THAT. APPLE’S DOING VERY WELL, THE PRODUCT’S DOING VERY WELL.

CRAMER: ONE LAST THOUGHT, IF WHERE WOULD THE MOST UNEXPECTED THING THAT OBAMA CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO FIX THIS ECONOMY?THE ONE THAT — LOOK, WE BUILD AN ATOMIC BOMB IN THE 1940s.NO ONE SAW THAT COMING.WE’VE HAD TREMENDOUS ADVANCES PUT A MAN ON THE MOON.WHAT’S OUR MAN ON THE MOON?

SCHMIDT: WELL, THE BEST WAY TO DO THIS WOULD TO BE DO SOMETHING EVERY MONTH AND TRACK IT ON A WEBSITE.

CRAMER: DO YOU THINK THAT WE CAN DO THAT.

SCHMIDT: ABSOLUTELY.OUR ONLY JOB IS TO GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORTHWORK AND WE’RE GOING TO CHANGE.OH THAT WORKED?OR THAT DIDN’T WORK? OH MY GOD THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE FLEXIBLE.

CRAMER: EXCELLENT. ERIC SCHMIDT. CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF GOOGLE. GREAT SEE YOU.

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