'This Week' Transcript: David Axelrod and Reince Priebus

PRIEBUS: No, here's what I would say. I think that it's an important question. And I think that the question presented to this country and the question that will be presented isn't so much -- which we can talk about whether people are better off today than they were four years ago -- and clearly we're not -- but I think the more important question is, what type of America and -- and whether or not our kids are going to be better off 4, 10, and 20 years from today.

And the policies that Barack Obama are putting in place, where we have seen just an enormous growth in people that are dependent on the government -- I mean, it's just a fact -- I don't think that's the type of America we want for our kids and grandkids. And I think that is an important question, and that is a question that should be presented to the American people. And Barack Obama has made everything worse, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you say -- the question is, are Mitt Romney and his campaign up to the task of defeating him? And you know there were a chorus of Republican critics out this week, as well, and none more forceful than Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. Here's what she wrote earlier in the week. She said, "It's time to admit that the Romney campaign is an incompetent one. It's not big. It's not brave. It's not thoughtfully tackling great issues. It's always been too small for the moment. An intervention is in order. Mitt, this isn't working."

You know, she went on to amend that in her Saturday column, said she was just being polite calling the Romney campaign incompetent, said instead it's a rolling calamity.

Now, I know that Governor Romney says his campaign doesn't need a turnaround, but is he in denial?

PRIEBUS: No, I don't think so, George. And, quite frankly, I -- first of all, I think Peggy Noonan's really smart, and I -- and I read both of those columns. I think that where we're at as a movement and as Republicans and conservatives and people that are really worried about the growth of government in this country and what that means for our future, I respect and I admire people that get very concerned -- and even if they're upset about, you know, something that happens in a campaign or if the week needs to be better, like last week, because I think that this is a different kind of campaign, George.

I mean, I promise you on my life, I'm not sitting here talking to you because I'm worried about the future of the Republican Party. And I can guarantee you that all the people that we're talking to here in Wisconsin aren't, either. We're worried about the future of this country, and that's why, you know, I think that the leeway given on our side of the aisle is very small to the likes of Peggy Noonan and other writers that say, hey, listen, guys, you need to -- we need to be ahead, we need to be pounding away.

I agree with that. And I think we are. I think that we had a good week last week, I think in retrospect, in that we were able to frame up the debate last week in the sense of, what future do we want and do you want out there...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But even -- even your governor...

PRIEBUS: ... for your kids and grandkids. And clearly, things are not going well in this country, George.

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