'This Week' Transcript: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Powerhouse Roundtable

PHOTO: ABC News George Will, Bloomberg News White House Correspondent Julianna Goldman, Sen Ron Johnson (R) Wisconsin, New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Paul Krugman and Democratic National Committee Chair Rep Debbie Wasserman Sc

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to This Week. What a difference a week makes.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: What more do you think I should do?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about dinner?

(START VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON: Today was a good step. He seemed very sincere in trying to get engaged in the process.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Will Obama's charm offensive revive the grand bargain, and finally break a budget stalemate? Senator Ron Johnson was there, and joins our powerhouse roundtable with the inside story. Then...

(START VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I have supported both -- both the path of legalization, or a path to citizenship.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Let's wait for a few minutes and see how Jeb Bush changes his mind, again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: A double take from Jeb Bush on immigration. How will it shape a possible presidential race? Governor Bush is here, and we'll ask him. Plus...

(START VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: And I will speak as long as it takes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Rand Paul takes over the Senate. Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg takes heat for leaning in.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

SANDBERG: My message is not one of (inaudible.)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we take on all the weeks politics right now.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC news, This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Reporting from ABC News headquarters, George Stephanopoulos.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again. Could this be the week Washington got back on track? That's the question buzzing through the Capitol after the president picked up the phone, picked up the tab, and spent more quality time with rank and file Republicans, than at any other point in his presidency. The first reviews have been encouraging, and in his Saturday address, President Obama showed some tempered optimism.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Making progress on these issues won't be easy. In the months ahead, there will be more contentious debate, and honest disagreement between principled people who want what's best for this country. But I still believe that compromise is possible. I still believe we can come together to do big things. And I know there are leaders on the other side of the aisle who share that belief.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: House Speaker John Boehner, a bit more skeptical.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: I think it's a sign, a hopeful sign, and I'm hopeful that something will come out of it. But, if the president continues to insist on tax hikes, I don't think we're going to get very far.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And one of those Republican Senators having at dinner with the president Wednesday night, here on our Powerhouse Roundtable Senator Ron Johnson...

JOHNSON: Good morning, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ...of Wisconsin. Good morning. Also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congresswoman of Florida, George Will, Paul Krugman of Princeton and the New York Times, and White House Correspondent from Bloomberg, Julianna Goldman. Welcome to all of you. Let me ask you Senator, what happened there?

JOHNSON: Well, he was very honest, frank. A very complete discussion of -- you know the problems we face in this nation. President Obama opened it up, really prioritizing the problems, certainly making the point that it's health care, it's Medicare. You know from my standpoint, the input I provided to him is, if we're going to really get to an agreement, this is a good step. I mean you have to start meeting with people. You have to start developing relationships. You've got to spend a fair amount of time figuring out what we agree on first.

So -- so many times we -- we're talking about different numbers, and we have to first agree on the facts, the figures. One interesting point he made is, he said, you know the problem with Medicare is about a dollar of every -- of every -- basically Americans pay in a dollar, but they get more than $3.00 out in benefits. He said people generally don't understand that. They think that money is theirs. And the point I made to him is, you know Mr. President, you are in a unique position to be able to make sure the American people understand that.

We're not going to be able to solve these -- these very difficult problems unless we start laying the groundwork, and prepare the American people for some of the solutions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But will this lead to negotiation?

JOHNSON: I -- I certainly hope so. Now I got a call from his chief of staff over the weekend to talk about, you know what we need to do in terms of developing the process. So, you know we'll -- I'll certainly give the president the benefit of the doubt. You know the other side is not going to go away. If we're going to solve these problems, it's going to have to be done on a bipartisan basis, and -- and I'm certainly, and I think most Republicans are more than willing to work with this president.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well we heard from House Speaker John Boehner, George Will, revenues still the big issue?

WILL: And Senator Johnson's leader, Mitch McConnell has said the revenue question is settled. It was settled on the fiscal cliff, so no more revenues. I'm not sure what you compromise about. The charm offensive, one night dining together at the Jefferson Hotel, follows a long period in which the president has said, Republicans don't just have bad policies, they are bad people that have bad policies. And it's hard to undo that in a night.

He needs five senators. That's basically what he needs to do. You need five justices to get something done on the Supreme Court, he needs give Republicans to come over to get to 60 with the 55 Democrats. I think it's unlikely.

Page
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...