'This Week' Transcript: Jon Huntsman, David Axelrod

And all of these things are part and parcel of a strategy that is completely opposed by the other side, who want to go back to the same trickle-down, deregulation. You know, the same mantra we heard in the last decade that led up to this problem we're hearing again. I think that this is such a profound choice that the president's supporters and independent voters and people across this country will rally, because the future will be determined by this debate and the path we take.

TAPPER: All right. Thank you so much, David Axelrod. Good luck out there on the campaign trail.

With big expectations for the president's economic speech after Labor Day, there's a lot more to talk about on our roundtable. Liz Claman of Fox Business Network will join us when we run. Stay with us.


TAPPER: Welcome back to our roundtable, with George Will, Donna Brazile, Liz Claman of Fox Business Network, and Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times.

George, the president said in the last week that we are not headed for a second recession or a double-dip recession. What do you think?

WILL: Well, that's his argument, is I did all these things, some of which you people didn't like, TARP and buying General Motors and all the rest, but I had to do it to end the 2008 crisis. The problem with that is, the American people don't feel the crisis ever ended, and they can't distinguish between a recession and the kind of bad recovery we're having.

We've had the biggest stimulus ever and the worst recovery ever, since the Second World War. And what we hear from the president -- he reminds me of a character in a Chicago sportswriter's short story. Ring Lardner wrote a story called "Alibi Ike," about a ballplayer who couldn't make -- do anything right, but it was always someone else's fault. The president said, it's the Arab Spring, it's the Japanese tsunami, it's oil prices, it's ATMs and airport kiosks that have taken jobs. Nothing is his responsibility, and that does not sound presidential.

TAPPER: Liz, how much of the current economic woes that we're going through right now do you think are the fault of domestic politics in this country? And how much is it matters that are out of our hands?

CLAMAN: Well, we don't have jobs recovering, and everybody knows that, and that is a huge issue. So the speech is so highly anticipated at this point. We didn't really just get much clarity from David Axelrod on what it's going to say, but people are saying, where is our Hoover Dam moment?

So if that is psychologically in their minds, that we haven't seen these massive projects come to pass that would soak up the greatest number of people who are unemployed, and that is high school-educated males who were working in construction, in obviously commercial and residential real estate, where are they going to go?

So that weighs on the economic woes, certainly. But now, all of a sudden, we have the issues out of Europe. And people in the Midwest can sit there and say, "I don't understand why that affects me. Why would a French bank in trouble affect me?" But it does now, because we are, for better -- and now, as we see, for worse -- part of a global economy.

TAPPER: Jeff, I forget if the last time I saw you we were in a cornfield in Iowa or a manufacturing plant in Illinois, but we were on the president's Midwest bus tour. And here's a little sound of what he said when he announced his economic speech.


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