Transcript: Gibson Interviews Rahm Emanuel

EMANUEL: No, he asked me -- he said about the policy guidance, and that was the answer I gave to the policy guidance.

GIBSON: And he then followed up and asked specifically about those who devised the policies. And you said the president wants to go forward and...

EMANUEL: And that's what I'm saying here, Charlie.

GIBSON: And yet -- all right. I'll drop it, because I'm not going to get anywhere with it.

EMANUEL: Keen insight there.

GIBSON: Let me go back -- I mean, I can quote the exchange, but I don't have the time. Let me give you a final question.

Looking back on 100 days, is there one significant adjustment or tweak that you and the administration will make in the way you approach governing?

EMANUEL: Well, I think in the way we approach, you know, it is -- first of all, you learn something every day. That's what's interesting. And the goal here is to always be open and not just get set in your patterns, but be open to learning, because you're going to -- there's things that happen every day. No one day is the same.

But, you know, the president came -- when we were first here, we spent a lot of time in Washington. And as you remember, in the Recovery Act, we went to Indiana, went to Florida. And today, as you and I are talking, the president's in Missouri.

And of all those instances he held a town hall. So Washington remembered that the conversation we're having is not between this end of Pennsylvania Avenue and that end of Pennsylvania Avenue. It's that Washington remembered the most important conversation is between us and the American people, and that their wishes, their challenges, their needs are met.

And it's not for us to just go out of the beltway so we can get out there, and the president of the United States will meet with the American people. That is important, but it's also so that Washington remembers that the conversation is not between two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. The most important dialogue we have is that Washington understands what's happening in the country matters to the decisions they make here. And I think it's constantly -- we remember here, and always make sure that that conversation between what happens in the Oval Office, what happens around the kitchen table, is a direct dialogue so they know that there's somebody here watching their back and making sure that the decisions made have their interest at heart.

GIBSON: That's a tweak you made in the 100 days. You've changed the way you approach this. Stop dealing with Congress so directly. Went out, went over their heads, in effect.

EMANUEL: Well, I think what we did -- and I don't want to reduce it to a tactic, because there was a philosophy. There's an approach; it's not a tactic.

It was a sense -- it is easy -- look, I've been in the White House, I've been in Congress, I've also been in the private sector. It's very easy to make -- to think that this is a conversation between Congress and the White House. It is not.

There's a third party. And that third party's the most important party. And make sure that that -- their interests and their ability to speak up and be heard in that conversation is why we're here.

GIBSON: Rahm, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

EMANUEL: Thanks a lot. Yes.

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