'This Week' Transcript: David Plouffe and Karl Rove

MILLER: Look, the president of the United States declared that it was in the vital national interest of this country to undermine and get rid of the Assads and to assume responsibility for the quote-unquote "new Syria." Stabilization force, the billions of dollars that are going to be required to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, yes, the United States could do that.

But governing, George, as you know, is about choosing. This is not about the Middle East. It's about the middle class. And this president, second term, one of only 17 in American history, believes his legacy is transformational at home. It's a domestic legacy. His role is not to get America into additional profitless wars abroad. It's to get America out of them. And that priority is extremely important.

STEPHANOPOULOS: (Inaudible), Christiane, the question would be, how can you put a limit on the strategy if it is necessary, in your view, to take more action?

AMANPOUR: Yes, you know, it's not my view or not. It really is what's unfolding on the ground. And I think Bobby has articulated and so has Aaron, two different views here. I think you can sit it out and watch this thing come back to bite you -- because it will. It will.

These are American allies around Syria, who are being absolutely undermined and compromised and could very well end up in full-scale war. And this is what Assad wanted.

I remember at the very beginning, you know, Assad loyalists who had defected said this is what he wants to do. He wants to make it bad in Syria -- make it bad -- I'm sorry -- in Lebanon and Iraq and sort of say, oh, well, I'm the only one who can be trusted to have some kind of stabilizing force.

And I think that, look. A year ago, President Clinton, former President Clinton, a year ago, when there were 10,000 dead in Syria, said that the longer we leave this, the worse it will be and the more bad actors will come in.

Now, 80,000 people dead in one year. That's 70,000 people who've been killed. There is a huge humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Syria beyond our eyes, because we can see it. And this is what is happening right now. And the bad actors are in there, both on the rebels' side and Assad's side, Hezbollah and Iran.

STEPHANOPOULOS: (Inaudible), you get the last word.

GHOSH: Well, this is not Iraq. And I think Aaron's right. The battle should not be made exclusively with Iraq and Afghanistan. Another battle -- which Christiane understands more than most people, is the Balkans. This is -- we should look more closely at the Balkans and our experience there to understand what needs to be done in Syria.

There, you had the Russians taking one side. You had enormous -- we had genocide taking place within the country. Eventually, it took American-NATO military involvement to get this right. Eventually it will take --

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- successful. Fascinating discussion. Thank you all very much.

Coming up, Congressman John Dingell has served with every president since Eisenhower. He will make history soon. Find out why in our "Sunday Spotlight."

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STEPHANOPOULOS: It is kind of irresistible. The parade of intense awkward and endearing tweens all vying for top prize of the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee. Persistence paid off this year for Arvind Mahankali (ph) from Bayside Hills, New York. (Inaudible) from Germany knocked him out of past tournaments. But this time, he nailed knaidel.

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