'This Week' Transcript: Obama Senior Adviser David Plouffe

You know, I'll take this to the economy, George. There was a remarkable story this week where members of Congress in the Republican caucus were openly talking about doing nothing on the economy over the next five months because it would help Mitt Romney. And so whether it's failing to move forward on the DREAM Act, failing to move forward on putting teachers back to work, failing to do all the things we could do right now to help the economy and middle class, this Congress is just saying no.

And that's one of the choices the American people have. You know, our opponent, Governor Romney, is with John Boehner today, the speaker of the House, and that's fitting, because, you know, eventually Governor Romney is going to choose a vice presidential candidate, but his running mate really from a policy standpoint is this congressional Republican agenda.

And it's -- it's the wrong policies for this country. They want to return us back to the same policies that caused the recession, huge tax cuts for the wealthy, more war, more debt. And independent economists last week just said the Romney congressional agenda would cause us harm in the short term economically and slow down the recovery. So that's the wrong direction.

STEPHANOPOULOS: More war? Where are the Republicans calling for more war?

PLOUFFE: Well, listen, the point is, George, our opponent and many in Congress criticized our decision to end the Iraq war. I think Governor Romney called it a tragic mistake, oppose a timeline in Afghanistan. So -- and, by the way, you know, that also has fiscal and economic consequences, because we have to focus on rebuilding this country. And that's what the president wants to do, is take half the money from ending the wars and focus on rebuilding this country so our businesses can move their products and their services and their goods...


PLOUFFE: ... in a way that allows them to be competitive.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk a little bit more about the economy. More signs of a stall this week. Retail sales down; industrial production down; jobless claims are up. And all that before today's vote in Greece, which could really send shockwaves through the global economy. How concerned is the president about that outcome? And is there anything more he can do to contain that crisis?

PLOUFFE: Well, the president's spoken that there's no doubt that we're experiencing some headwinds from Europe, as we have in previous years, and they're obviously a big destination for our exporters and our goods. And so this is affecting our economy. It's affecting the global economy.

Obviously, he's meeting with some of the world's leaders down in Mexico for the next couple of days. And we're going to continue to make the case -- we have some experience in this. You know, we -- we dealt with our financial crisis. None of the steps were easy. They were all politically hard, but stepped up and stabilized our financial system and the economy.

So this is within the power of the Europeans to act. And obviously, there's a lot of discussion about things like deposit insurance and banking unions. And there's no question that, you know, I think there will be progress made over the next couple days, but no one should expect a firm resolution.


PLOUFFE: The European leaders are getting together at the end of June, and that's really hopefully where we'll see more confidence and progress that they can handle this.

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