'This Week' Transcript: Jon Huntsman, David Axelrod

OBAMA: I'll be putting forward, when they come back in September, a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs, and to control our deficit. And my attitude is: Get it done. And if they don't get it done, then we'll be running against a Congress that's not doing anything for the American people, and the choice will be very stark and will be very clear.


TAPPER: How much do you think -- what are the odds that President Obama is going to be able to introduce something that will pass Congress?

ZELENY: I think the odds are pretty slim, and they realize that, but it's not about getting it passed, necessarily. It's about framing the argument for the fall and, really, into next year. They're trying to draw this distinct line between him and Republicans. But they are looking to him for some kind of solution here.

I think the biggest -- for all the powers of the incumbency, for all the advantages he had as he was rolling through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, one thing that hung over him is reality. That's one thing that didn't -- he didn't have to deal with in 2007 or 2008.

He could say all these things, make all these promises, which he did, but now his own supporters are coming to him with really tough question, looking for relief, not just framing the argument. So I think he has to do more than simply fight with Congress. He has to try and go back again and get something with Speaker Boehner.

But the reality just really confronted him, even in these friendly areas. I mean, imagine how it's going to be when he goes to, you know, some harder places, some counties in Michigan, some counties in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, where he has even more work ahead of him.

WILL: Exactly right. He's going to say if it weren't for Congress, I could spend more money. Now, I'm not sure that is going to be a good selling point. He's going to say that Congress is stopping me from from another stimulus. He is going to say, in fact, that the government is too frugal. These are hard arguments to make, particularly when you consider, in Keynesian terms, we've not just had an $862 billion stimulus. Keynes said deficit spending is a stimulus, so we've had $5 trillion in stimulus in the last three years. Progressives, who used to be called liberals, want more investment, which used to be called spending. And I don't think that resonates with the country.

TAPPER: Donna, go ahead.

BRAZILE: I'm listening to George, and I'm smiling. The truth of the matter is that the president cannot just simply run against Congress, because Congress, you know, will not make the right decisions to get the American people back to work. Everyone knows that Congress is as popular as a root canal. They're at 13 percent.

The president has to do more than just run against Congress. He has to tell the American people that his administration has used every tool at their disposal to get jobs -- job creation back on track.

First of all, the government grant contracts each and every week. Why not, you know, stipulate that -- that these government contractors, whether it's the defense contractors or some small business supplying toilet paper or janitorial equipment, why not stipulate that there's a hiring quota there, there's a hiring recipe there? Why not give more credit to small businesses so that they can go out and hire people?

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