'This Week' Transcript: Newt Gingrich, John Boehner

Look, again, he is a manager, and he's a really smart businessman. I think he has an acute mind, an acute way of looking at things. But if you're going to start this conversation with Obama, like there are glimmers of -- of signs on the horizon that the economy is getting better, that's going to be a hard argument to make. He's got to pivot away from that. But, look, we had the worst year for new house sales last year in 50 years. We have people who still are very pessimistic about their future. And I'm the guy to turn this around. It can't be the economy's getting better.

BRAZILE: And the consumer confidence is getting better. Manufacturing is up. The economy is on the mend. The Republicans can't find anything nice to say about the economy that is, yes, still struggling. People are still trying to find jobs. But you know what? You cannot go out there and tell the American people it's going to get better if you put me in office, because there's no signs that the Republicans will do anything to for the middle class.

TAPPER: I want to turn now to President Obama and the State of the Union, because he talked about a lot of these issues. Here's an interview he gave to Diane Sawyer on Thursday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I think, whether it's Romney or Gingrich or Santorum, or any of these folks, the question to ask them is, we now have the lowest tax rates in 50 years. And if, in fact, we're going to reduce our deficit while still investing in those things that we know make America grow, somebody's got to pay for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: President Obama talking a great deal about changes he wants to make to the tax code, George.

WILL: Tax code? He wants to criminalize leaving high school before 18. He says -- he has -- Austan, he says I'm going to get rid of some regulations that will save us $10 billion over five years. That's what the government borrows every 53 hours. I mean, this is micro politics of the worst sort.

To me, the most interesting fact about the State of the Union was the audience for it this year over last year was down 12 percent. People are tired of listening to him.

TAPPER: Austan, interestingly, one of the biggest targets of this potential Warren Buffett rule change in taxes, requiring anyone who makes over $1 million to pay at least 30 percent in taxes, would be Mitt Romney. Coincidence?

GOOLSBEE: Yeah, I don't think -- I mean, Mitt -- it is quite striking -- and if you compare -- there's never been an actual candidate who personified the pathologies of the tax code that the president's been running against for the last several years.

INGRAHAM: But they'd rather run against Newt Gingrich, right? I mean -- I mean, this is -- this is it.

GOOLSBEE: The thing is, look, I -- I think the tax returns are going to be a problem for Mitt Romney. We -- we had numerous people unable to be confirmed because Republicans in the Senate went through their tax returns and said, no, you've got discrepancies, you've got overseas accounts. I don't think Mitt Romney could be confirmed to the 400th highest position...

INGRAHAM: He could be treasury secretary. What are you talking about?

GOOLSBEE: Look, the thing is...

TAPPER: And Mitt Romney paid his taxes.

INGRAHAM: Yeah, I think that...

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