'This Week' Transcript: Obama Senior Adviser David Plouffe

STEPHANOPOULOS: Of course, he took on those more than $700 billion in savings in the president's health care plan. I we all know that savings were included in congressman Ryan's budget as well. But the Republicans made some headway with this argument in 2010. Are you worried about it now?

PLOUFFE: George, this is a place where we're in full agreement with Paul Ryan. We think that this is an important debate to have. And we're anxious to have it.

First of all, it's remarkable when Paul Ryan was first picked as Mitt Romney's vice president, it was praised because here's someone who's going to tell hard truths. I mean, he sounded like the second coming of Claude Pepper last week, OK. Let's be clear about, first of all, the president's approach to Medicare, which was supported by AARP -- extended Medicare solvency for eight years. The savings all came from waste and fraud and subsidies that shouldn't have been going to the insurance companies, not a dime came from Medicare beneficiaries.

The Romney/Ryan approach is voucherized Medicare. So when you run out of vouchers, seniors are going to be on their own. It's estimate that the Ryan plan would add $6,400 to every Medicare...

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's the old Ryan plan, isn't it...

PLOUFFE: And so this is -- well, George, here's the thing, and the Romney/Ryan approach would bankrupt Medicare in four years. So you've got solvency through the president's approach of Medicare, bankruptcy through the Romney/Ryan approach.

You've got the president getting savings from the system -- from insurance company, from fraud, from waste. You got the Romney/Ryan approach, which is we're going to get all of the money from Medicare beneficiaries.

So I think on the question, in Florida and Ohio and other states of who do you trust to protect Medicare and who do you trust as we reduce our deficit to get the savings from the system, not putting it on the backs of Medicare beneficiaries, we think that's a debate we're well positioned to have, to execute and to win.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So that's somewhere you agree as you said with Paul Ryan.

One place you disagree with the Romney/Ryan ticket is the ads they have been sending out on welfare reform, neither Governor Romney nor Congressman Ryan mentioned welfare in their convention speeches, but here's the ad they've been running in a lot of battleground states.


ANNOUNCER: President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. Under Obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. They'd just send you your welfare check. And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare.


STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you disagree with the ad, and a lot of independent fact checkers have backed you up on that. My question is, it doesn't seem to deter Governor Romney. The question is, why? And many of your supporters have accused the Romney team of playing the race card. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, called it quote, "a dog whistler for voters who consider race when casting their ballot." Does the president agree with that?

PLOUFFE: Well, first, George, on Medicare, I want to make clear, I don't agree with Paul Ryan. I agree that it's an important debate for the country.


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