'This Week' Transcript: David Plouffe and Rep. Michele Bachmann

In terms of the campaign, we believed all along, this is going to be a very close election. Presidential elections generally are. You know, we won what was considered to be a huge victory in 2008, and we only got 53 percent of the vote.

So this is going to be a close election. That really isn't going to change. It was true last month; it'll be true next month; it'll be true in November. We're confident...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're planning for Romney, right?

PLOUFFE: Well, listen, that race has had a lot of twists and turns. Rick Santorum had another big win last night. Obviously, Romney, as you mentioned previously, has a big delegate lead.

So what I know is at some point, whether it's next month or May or June or August, at some point we're going to have an opponent. We'll be ready for that. And we'll be ready to make our case for the American people about why this president deserves another four years and about why we can't go back to the same policies that led to the Great Recession.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's also pretty clear that one of the planks in your campaign is going to be this budget proposed by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. It has been endorsed by Mitt Romney, endorsed and backed by most of the Republican candidates throughout the course of this year. But Paul Ryan, when he introduced it, went on offense this week. Take a look.


RYAN: Medicare under the president's law raids half a trillion dollars from Medicare to spend on his new health care proposal. We're saying, get rid of the rationing board, stop the raid, and preserve the system.


STEPHANOPOULOS: It sounds like they're willing to take this fight on Medicare.

PLOUFFE: Well, George, if Mitt Romney is the nominee, then this really is going to be the Romney-Ryan plan. He said he's going to rubber-stamp it. In fact, it's interesting. Grover Norquist, who's kind of the modern puppeteer of the Republican Party, said really what they need in a president is just somebody with enough digits to sign legislation.

So the American people have to understand, if Mitt Romney's elected president, he'll rubber-stamp that budget. And here's what that budget is. It fails the standard -- it fails the test of balance and fairness and shared responsibility. It showers huge additional tax cuts on the wealthy. It -- that are paid for by veterans and seniors and the middle class, so it's not a balanced approach. It asks nothing of the wealthy. In fact, it showers them with more tax cuts. It devastates things like education. And it voucherizes Medicare, which really would threaten that program and threaten our seniors.

So the president's approach is the right approach. It's the balanced approach. And by the way, it's the approach that -- whether it's the Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson commission, Domenici-Rivlin, any -- most of -- anybody out there that's offered a deficit reduction plan, any expert says it's got to have balance, which means it's got to cut spending, and we've already cut a lot of spending, almost $2 trillion. It's got to reform entitlements in the right way. And you've got to get revenue through tax reform.

The Ryan plan, the Romney-Ryan plan doesn't do any of that. All it does is drastically cut kind of indiscriminately in areas that will help the economy and showers the wealthy with big tax cuts.

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