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Short questions with Dana Perino for Stuart Varney

For this week's "Short questions," Dana Perino talks to FOX Business Network's Stuart Varney — who reveals why he loves America and how he's preparing to co-host the Sept. 27 GOP debate.

You've seen us on screen, but have you ever wondered what we're like off-camera? 

For the last few months, I’ve enjoyed checking in with some of your favorite Fox personalities to learn more about who they are behind the scenes. 

What's the one thing Jesse Watters couldn’t live without? What's Bill Hemmer’s favorite Halloween costume? And what's sitting on Greg Gutfeld’s nightstand? 

But that's not all! The fun is just getting started.

This week we're excited to shine the spotlight on Stuart Varney. He joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in 2007 and is the host of "Varney & Co." (weekdays 9 a.m.-12 p.m./ET), which is the highest rated market program on television. 

Next week, he and I — together with Univision’s Ilia Calderon — are co-hosting the second GOP debate together on Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, airing on the FOX Business Network. The two-hour debate is set to begin at 9 p.m. ET. Read on for some of his thoughts on that. 

P.S. We have so much more in store for you. Stay tuned each week for new editions of "Short Questions with Dana Perino" — and if there’s a question you want answers to or a suggestion for the person I should interview next, leave a note in the comments section below! 

SV: I grew up in a town about 100 miles north of London. I had something of an idyllic childhood. 

Wonderful parents, married for over 50 years, and always willing to let me go and work things out for myself. I thought of myself as a pulley mobile, and they never tried to stop me.

SV: I traveled the world starting even before I went to college. I worked for a year in Nairobi, Kenya, at a home for 800 destitute African boys. After college the only thing I wanted to do was travel, so I set off having sold everything, to travel the world.

To cut a long story short, I went quickly through Europe, then through Iran to Afghanistan, to Pakistan to India, Nepal, then over to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Then I went to Hong Kong and started my career in the media.

SV: I came to America because I had married my American wife, and I always saw this country as opportunity "writ large." 

The moment I arrived, I loved it. 

To this day, I am amazed at how Americans can embrace someone with a very foreign voice, telling the locals how things are in the community. There is no place like America.

SV: My preparation for my show "Varney and Company" has not changed. Our producers put out a show late the previous evening. When I get in at 4 o’clock the next morning, I take a fresh look at the news — different from the previous day. That’s always been the case in the news industry. 

SV: I think the biggest misconception that the public feels or holds is that socialism is somehow good. It is not. It is a something-for-nothing mentality. 

That drove me out of England all those years ago.

SV: I remember well the weekly hit that we did with Sean Hannity. Every Tuesday for five years. My best experience in that time was the night that you and I were sitting next to Sean and Scott Brown won his Senate seat in Massachusetts. 

A Republican taking the seat of Ted Kennedy. That was something!

SV: Outside of economics and finance, I’m fascinated by politics. I think in recent years, the world has been turned upside down. Criminals are now released and coddled. The border is open, and Central America is pouring in without obstacle. 

And the schools are trying to convince very young children that they can decide who they are. Girl or boy. Even cat or otherwise, I find it hard to keep up with the world that seems to have changed so much. Perhaps at my age, 75, but I don’t think so.

SV: Yes, I am a farmer. Let me point out that I am a tree farmer in that I do not produce Christmas trees. I grow hardwood timber: red oak, black, cherry, white, oak and hard maple. I love the woods and being a farmer that you own them, and enjoy them, and make money out of them at the same time.

SV: I get up every morning at 2:45! Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But after decades of doing it, you get completely used to it. You pay a heavy price because I found it almost impossible to go out and socialize at night. It’s difficult for one’s family when Dad gets to bed at 6:30! By the way, I never set an alarm. My body clock just will not quit.

SV: My favorite book is "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. It is a classic takedown of Soviet communism.

SV: You asked how I am preparing for the debate. The answer is "intensely." This is a great honor, and I’m very conscious of it.

SV: Yes, I do know what I’m going to wear. I had a wardrobe meeting a few weeks ago. Dark navy blue suit, white shirt, and a tie recommended by the wardrobe department. I trust Manny Rios.

SV: The best advice I have ever been given is to stay in the game. So many of my colleagues dropped out for whatever reason over the last few decades. I stayed in and I’m glad.

SV: My advice to youngsters? Don’t gossip. Don’t hold a grudge. Stay in the game. 

And no matter what, watch your income. Always try to save. 

I guess I’m old-fashioned. I’m not keen on consumption. I’m very big on investment.


To read all of Dana Perino's earlier "Short Questions" interviews for Fox News Digital, check out this (long) list!

For her interview with Sandra Smith, click here.

For her interview with Nicolas Yannicelli, click here. 

For her interview with Abby Hornacek, click here. 

For her interview with Elise Bitter, click here

For her interview with Brian Kilmeade, click here.

For her interview with Kennedy, click here. 

For her interview with John Roberts, click here

For her interview with Janice Dean, click here

For her interview with Charles Payne, click here

For her interview with Trey Gowdy, click here. 

For her interview with Johnny "Joey" Jones, click here. 

For her interview with Bill Melugin, click here

For her interview with Jimmy Failla, click here

For her interview with Tyrus, click here

For her interview with Ainsley Earhardt, click here

For her interview with Lawrence Jones, click here

For her interview with Dr. Arash Akhavan, click here

For her interview with Martha MacCallum, click here

For her interview with Bret Baier, click here. 

For her interview with Kayleigh McEnany, click here.

For her interview with Harold Ford Jr., click here

For her interview with Shannon Bream, click here

For her interview with Jessica Tarlov, click here.

For her interview with Leo Terrell, click here.

For her interview with Geraldo Rivera, click here. 

For her interview with Clay Travis, click here.

For her interview with Bill Hemmer, click here

For her interview with Greg Gutfeld, click here

For her interview with Benjamin Hall, click here

For her interview with Judge Jeanine Pirro, click here.

For her interview with Jesse Watters, click here. 

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