'This Week' Transcript: Obama Senior Adviser David Plouffe

You know, the core of Governor Romney's argument was pretty straightforward. His answer to the classic Reagan question, take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: This president can ask us to be patient, this president can tell us it was someone else's fault, this president can tell us that the next four years he'll get it right. But this cannot tell us that you're better off today than when he took office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is he right, can the president argue unequivocally that Americans are better off today than they were four years ago.

PLOUFFE: Listen, George, I think the American people understand that we got into a terrible economic situation, a recession, only that the Great Depression -- the only thing the country has ever seen like it. So they know we had a deep hole. It took us a long time to get into that hole, it's going to take a long time to out of it.

First of all, Governor Romney is offering the same, exactly policies that led to the recession in the first place.

One thing they didn't do last week in Tampa is explain how huge taxes for wealthy, cutting back regulations on Wall Street is going to lead to economic growth or help the middle class, because the answer is, it's not.

So what we're going to lay out this week, is we're going to explain to the American people and the middle class of this country, how we're going to continue to recover, but do more than just recover from the recession, to build an economy from the middle out. What Mitt Romney is going to offer America is top-down, trickle-down fairy dust. It didn't work then, it's not going to work now. And I don't think he advanced the ball last week, in convincing people, particularly the middle class in this country, that he would be a president that has them every day in mind as he's making decisions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes or no, are Americans better off today than they were four years ago?

PLOUFFE: Listen, George, they did a good job of reciting all the statistics that everyone is familiar with. I think everybody understands we were this close to a great depression we staved that off. We're beginning to recover. We have a lot more work to do. We need to grow jobs more quickly, we need to grow middle-class incomes more quickly.

But the question for American people, is which path are we going to take? If we take Mitt Romney's path, economists have looked at this, the recovery would slow down, we wouldn't produce jobs. He would give huge tax cuts to people like himself and send a bill to the middle class and seniors.

So, the question is we're going to be far worse off if Mitt Romney is elected president. And he gets a chance to enact the same economic policies that created the mess in the first place.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, it sounds like, a year ago, the president told me, I don't think Americans are better off than they were four years ago. You still can't say yes?

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