'This Week' Transcript: Robert Gibbs and Kevin Madden

MADDEN: Well, I -- I do believe that Robert's right, that this is a very close race and it will continue to be a close race. I think what's going to make a big difference is how the American public judges the last three-and-a-half years and whether or not the economy has gotten better in these last three-and-a-half years.

And I think that's where we do see this sort of crystallization between the two candidates. And I think I actually agree with Robert in that sense. I do think it is a choice, and I do think it's a choice about how we go forward.

And this is a president who sort of abandoned, really, any idea of offering the public any new ideas about getting out of the current economic stagnation. We have -- you know, we have 8.2 percent unemployment for over -- over -- and we have had unemployment over 8 percent for 41 months now. And this is a president who continues to call for new taxes. This is a president that continues to call for new regulations on small businesses, the entrepreneurs and the Americans that are trying to help grow and expand the economy.

So I do think that this is going to be an election that's seen through the lens of how we have a better economic future in this country. And if you look at the last three-and-a-half years, which has essentially been the president's sort of interview for rehiring, I don't think that the American public is going to agree they want to continue in that same direction.

DOWD: And we're going to talk about the economy in just -- just a moment, which I'm sure you both have completely contrasting views on that, but one thing people think that maybe this an election that a gaffe, a mistake, in such a tight election, within a point or two, could make a difference, whether somebody shows up or not.

And, Kevin, you obviously have seen what's happened when Governor Romney went to London, made his comments, took a lot of heat, especially from the British press. And is there a concern on y'all's part that it's -- first time he's on -- on the stage, on the world stage, that people sort of now are taking a step back and maybe he's not prepared after what he said about the Olympics over there?

MADDEN: Well, I think this is an election, again, that the public is viewing around big things. I don't think that a gaffe or a YouTube moment is really going to make or break this particular election. I think it's going to be about the direction of the country, how we rebuild the economy, how we continue to have a stronger national security posture around the globe.

I think that the headlines that -- that come out of London on one day are not going to be as important as the overall view that people take when it comes to our economic prosperity here at home and then our safety and security around the globe.

So I think the fact that the governor has given a -- he gave a very strong, robust speech about his national security policy at the Veterans of -- at the VFW before he left. And I think you're going to see some -- some images that are coming out of Israel, with him standing strong with our allies there, some strong statements coming out of Israel, I think that's going to be much more important as a judgment on this particular trip than anything that happened

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