'This Week' Transcript: David Axelrod and Sen. John McCain

The thing that we've seen over time is that Republican enthusiasm has dropped precipitously, partly because what we've seen from Governor Romney is all negative. Ninety percent of the ads that he's run in this campaign, $55 million of advertising, 90 percent of it he and his team have run have been negative. His attacks, his speeches now are entirely negative attacks on the president, doesn't talk about his own record, doesn't really talk about his vision.

That is not going to create enthusiasm. I think what the president's talking about will create enthusiasm, which is, how do we build an economy in which the middle class has a shot, everybody gets a fair shake, everybody has some confidence that their kids might do better in the future? That's the project we're working on.

TAPPER: The Republicans say -- speaking of records, the Republicans say that based on the OBL ad, the Osama bin Laden ad, and some of the other attacks from the campaign against Mitt Romney that your campaign, the Obama campaign, is not running on his record. When can we expect to see ads about the president's record run by the Obama campaign?

AXELROD: Well, first of all, we're certainly running on our record. You could hear it in the president's speech yesterday on our record and our vision and our ideas for the future. The Osama bin Laden mission was certainly part of the president's record, and we are talking about that.

And in this coming week, you'll see us unveil an advertising campaign, an extensive advertising campaign, that is very much about where we were and where we've come and the things that we've accomplished, the revitalization of the auto industry, the distance we've traveled from when we were losing 800,000 jobs a month, the fact that we're safer today because bin Laden is gone, that the war in Iraq is over, and -- and many other things that we're proud of and that speak to the progress that we've made since this president was elected.

TAPPER: There's been a lot of back-and-forth in the last week about whether or not President Obama was spiking the football when it came to the mission in which Osama bin Laden was killed. Here is an ad from a group called Veterans for a Strong America that I want to play for you.


OBAMA: I said that I'd go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him. And I did. I did. I did. I did.


TAPPER: David, do you ever worry that, in the president's eagerness to remind voters of the successful mission, that he may come across as self-serving?

AXELROD: Well, first of all, the president hasn't been spiking the ball. This was the one-year anniversary. It's part of his record. And it's certainly a legitimate part of his record to talk about.

Look, the president in the last campaign said that he would go wherever he had to, to hit high-value Al Qaida targets, including Osama bin Laden. One of the first things he did when he got here into the presidency was order the CIA to make this a top priority. That's one of the reasons -- that's the main reason why we were able to be in a position to find bin Laden.

And then he ordered a mission that was -- was, frankly, risky, dangerous. Bob Gates said it was one of the most courageous, one of the gutsiest decisions he saw -- he's ever seen a president make. And it turned out successfully.

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