'This Week' Transcript: Robert Gibbs and Kevin Madden

GIBBS: Can I just say this, Matthew? I would probably give that answer, too, if I hadn't flown to London and embarrassed myself in front of our strongest ally in the world. Look, Mitt Romney wondered aloud whether London was ready for the Olympics, and I think it's clear that voters in this country wonder aloud whether Mitt Romney is ready for the world, and I think the world is not yet ready for Mitt Romney.

I think there's -- literally to go overseas, stand in the country of our strongest ally, and on Olympics that they've been preparing for years for, and question whether or not they're ready does make you wonder whether or not he's ready to be commander-in-chief.

DOWD: Well, and obviously that's the -- that was the beginning of the trip. As Kevin referenced, he's having an end of his trip, where he's in Israel today. And...

GIBBS: Let's hope the do-over goes better than the initial audition, because like I said, let's be honest, Matthew. If you can't handle smiling and talking about the Olympics...


MADDEN: ... they were very polite about how they all believe that the athletes are going to make sure that the games work. And they will. And we're all hoping for a good -- we're all hoping for a very successful...


GIBBS: Like you -- like you, I'm happy David Cameron had the last word, because I thought it was embarrassing for our country.

DOWD: And let's give everybody a break, and let's move on to Israel, where, as of this morning, a senior adviser to Governor Romney said -- he said this morning, if Israel has to take action on its own in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the governor would respect that decision. And I don't know obviously what the governor's going to say today in his speech in Israel, but, Robert, that statement basically sort of saying what he says he would do as president in that circumstance. Where is the president's position? Is that the president's position? Or is his a little bit more subtle?

GIBBS: Well, let me say this. The president's position, which he's been clear about for more than three-and-a-half years, and that is, obviously, any country -- and Israel certainly does have the right to defend itself and defend its citizens. We have never taken any option off the table in dealing with the nuclear program in Iran.

President Obama has led the strongest international coalition ever assembled with the strongest sanctions ever levied on the country of Iran. We've made progress in -- in delaying that nuclear program. And, obviously, our goal, the world's goal is to prevent Iran from having a nuclear program, and I think we're making progress on that. Of course Israel has the right to defend itself.

DOWD: And, Kevin, you know, many have wondered if there's really a huge distinction between the two candidates' foreign policy, real substantive distinction. I know by words the governor has said that President Obama shouldn't have said this or shouldn't have done this, but real, substantive policy differences, especially on Israel. Is there a real difference substantively?

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