'This Week' Transcript: Obama Senior Adviser David Plouffe

PLOUFFE: Well, we have to see what they're proposing. We haven't seen what they're proposing, and they're going to have to pass it. But, no, we don't think short term is the way to go about this.

But on the other hand, this is a big departure for them, you know? They were saying, the only way they were going to pay the bills they've racked up is to basically hold the...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Have they caved?

PLOUFFE: Yeah, I think they have, on this principle, and that's very important. So, listen, the question is, on the big fundamental issue of, can we come together on a fiscal package that reduces the deficit in the long term and then helps us grow the economy in the short term, I think the answer is yes. We're doing this in stages, as opposed to one big package.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So the president likely to accept this, if they do, indeed, pass it. He has said he doesn't want to negotiate over the debt limit, but if they pass this, there's a breathing space. So will he start negotiations right now on the big budget issues after they pass this?

PLOUFFE: Yeah, and, listen, we've been pretty clear. As you know, we made public our offer to Speaker Boehner, over $1 trillion in additional spending cuts, $400 billion in entitlement savings. This is really serious stuff, on top of the over $1 trillion we've already signed into law.

So the barrier to progress here isn't our position of the president. We've moved more than halfway, which is a fair definition of compromise. And we are going to require some more revenues.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that's...

PLOUFFE: John Boehner himself said he thought there was $800 billion in revenue from closing loopholes. We've dealt with the tax rate issue. Now it's about loopholes. And I think the country would be well served by tax and entitlement reform, because it'll help our economy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's what I was going to ask you, because both the House speaker John Boehner and the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, have said the revenue debate is over, no more taxes. Are you saying that the president will only sign a budget deal if it includes new revenues?

PLOUFFE: Yes, it's got to be balanced. And, by the way, they weren't saying that a matter of weeks ago. Remember, Speaker Boehner said $800 billion in revenue from closing loopholes. What's changed in the last four weeks? Nothing. So there's plenty of loopholes, whether it's people shipping jobs overseas who gets preferential tax treatment, the subsidies to the energy companies, loopholes for, you know, billionaires, there are things we can close here to make our tax system fair...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're saying no deal if they don't give on taxes?

PLOUFFE: We need balance, George. We need -- we need spending cuts, entitlement reform, and revenue. We have to have that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me also talk about immigration. The president has identified immigration reform as another top priority of his second term. You just mentioned it again. The Republican senator, Marco Rubio, has been taking the lead this week. And Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, had some positive words about his proposals this week. But Marco Rubio said this week -- and he was on Bill O'Reilly's show -- that the president hasn't reached out to him. Take a look.


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