GIBBS: No, absolutely not. If you're going to reduce the Bush tax rates by 20 percent, and the estate tax, and the AMT, change the corporate rate, and a whole host of other changes, that adds up to a reduction in revenue, $4.8 trillion. The question for Governor Romney is, what loopholes are you going to close? Supposedly, to make up for that revenue? And if you don't close $4.8 trillion in those loopholes, two things happen. Either the deficit goes up, or more likely, is the middle class is going to see their taxes go up and end up paying for his promises (ph).
STEPHANOPOULOS: But as you know, Robert, he's stating unequivocally that he will not push the tax cuts if they increase the deficit, and he will not push them if they force tax increases on the middle class.
GIBBS: Then he's got no economic theory. Then he's walked away from 18 months of what this whole campaign has been about. But George, we've seen this movie before, where people say, oh, don't worry, it's all going to get paid for, it's fine. When you ask them, what loopholes will you close specifically for wealthy earners to help pay for the $4.8 trillion in reduced revenue, there's no answer. I mean, let's be clear, Paul Ryan a week ago was asked about the math for this, and Paul Ryan said, look, the math takes too long. Well, Mitt Romney's solution is he just decided there wasn't math involved in this problem, and that's absolutely crazy. Look, the only thing he outlined that he would cut in the budget is Big Bird. He's taken the battle straight to Sesame Street, and let Wall Street run hogwild.
Again, it was a masterful theatrical performance. It was fundamentally dishonest for the American people. And let's be clear, if you're willing to say anything to get elected president, if you are willing to make up your positions and walk away from them, I think the American people have to understand, how can they trust you if you are elected president.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's look ahead to the vice presidential debate this week. Joe Biden coming up. He kind of stepped in it a little bit this week with the comment about the middle class being buried the last four years. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: How they can justify – how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that's been buried the last four years? How in Lord's name can they justify raising their taxes with these tax cuts?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Two questions. Is there more pressure on the vice president now to be aggressive, coming off the president's debate? And are you worried about gaffes like that?
GIBBS: Well, I don't think that was a gaffe, George, because I think what the vice president was talking about is what he's talked about every day, which is a series of eight years of horrifically bad economic decisions—
STEPHANOPOULOS: He said they've been buried the last four years.