'This Week' Transcript: Gov. Chris Christie and David Plouffe

So give me a break. You know, presidential campaigns are tough, but what we're saying is the truth about what Governor Romney wants to do. Now, that may be inconvenient because the people aren't accepting it, but we're very confident with the case we're going to make proactively about the president and how that contrasts with Governor Romney.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The governor -- the governor has shown that he can be tough in these debates, as you pointed out. Now, we're seeing some reports that he's preparing some zingers to get under the president's skin, and the president has at times in debates in the past seemed a little impatient, a little irritable. How worried are you about that?

PLOUFFE: Well, I think the president views this as part of the entire campaign. You know, we -- our convention, the events we do in battleground states, the ads we're running, now the debate, it's just a chance to have a -- a conversation with the American people about where we are as a country, where we need to go to help the middle class be more secure.

Now, Governor Romney, clearly, they've been practicing these zingers and lines for months, so I'm sure they have a bunch of clever lines. But that's ultimately not what the American people are looking for. So, you know, there may be some that judge those to be, you know, kind of ranked well, but the American people are going to be listening for not a clever line, but a good idea to help move this country forward and help them and their family. And that's what our focus is going to be.

So, listen, he's prepared more than any candidate I think maybe in history, certainly in recent memory. So we believe Governor Romney has -- he's been a good debater in the past, he's very prepared, he's all these clever zingers and lines in his pocket, so we understand he'll probably have a good night on Wednesday night.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned Governor Romney's response to the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi. The president and his team have also come in for some questions about that, as well, and the stories about what exactly happened that day.

You had Ambassador Susan Rice, in the days after that attack, on this program said it was a spontaneous response, all the evidence showed, to an anti-Muslim film. Since then, we've learned that it was on organized attack and that some intelligence and Pentagon officials suspected that early on, and that has prompted this criticism from Governor Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: We've seen a confused, slow, and inconsistent response to the terrorist attack in Libya, a refusal to be frank with the American people about what happened, and a complete failure to explain the growing terrorist threat we face in the region.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: The chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the House, Peter king, has gone even further, calling on U.N. Ambassador Rice to resign. Your response?

PLOUFFE: Absolutely not. Susan Rice has a terrific job for this country and the administration. George, there's been an ongoing investigation. And this is an event of great interest to the news media and the public, understandably. So there's been information provided real-time. Obviously, you're going to know more about an event a week after it happens and more -- two weeks after it happens than you do one week...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But there were officials in the 24 hours after it happened who suspected it was a terrorist attack.

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