'This Week' Transcript: Robert Gibbs and Kevin Madden

GIBBS: Again, this is a choice, Matthew. The president is happy to talk about the steps that we've taken in manufacturing, our auto recovery, which Mitt Romney opposed by wanting to let Detroit go bankrupt, and we're also happy to talk about Mitt Romney's record. I mean, let's be clear...

DOWD: And that's -- I want to talk about that. Governor Walker, a -- the governor, a supporter of yours from Wisconsin, sort of has talked about that Mitt Romney hasn't filled in enough of his resume, especially related to this. Let's talk a look.


WALKER: I think there's a lot of caution. I think the mistake that they've made is this feeling like it can just be a referendum on the president, and certainly a part of it for any incumbent's got to be a referendum on, do you like or dislike not just the president, but his policies? And there's got to be something more than that. People won't just vote somebody out. They want to vote somebody in.


DOWD: Is he telling the truth? And as -- I know that you have a 50-some-odd-point economic plan. Is that too much and people just don't get it, you need to have a three-point plan? Is the governor right that there is not enough about Mitt Romney and this campaign has been too much about Barack Obama?

MADDEN: Well, no, I think he's right in that -- essentially there is a strong component here about it being a referendum, but Governor Romney has been very clear about what he would do on a whole range of issues that are important to helping grow the economy. And it's not a 50-point -- 50-odd-point plan. It's a 59-point plan, 160 pages. I happen to know, because I've read it. And...


DOWD: But as -- as a political operative, do you think that's too much?

MADDEN: Right. Well, look, I remember during the primary everybody saying...

DOWD: Do you want to explain it?

MADDEN: During the primary, while we had rolled out the plan...

GIBBS: We're going to need some extra...


MADDEN: They were saying, look, this -- you know, we need to have very big, bold plans. Now we're -- in the general election, folks are saying, well, we need more details. The details are in there. Everything from industry, from health care to manufacturing to energy and to tax reform and entitlement reform, everything that we need to do to move the country forward as far as having pro-growth policies, helping people, incentivizing businesses to both grow and -- and create more jobs, all of that is in there. And the governor's talked about it in great detail about what he would do on all of those policies.

DOWD: But on both sides -- but before you get, Robert -- on both sides of this, it's -- many people have real trouble with the discourse in this country, and much of it has to do with what's gone on in the campaign. The data's that's out of the last couple of weeks, 90 percent of the ads that Barack Obama has run have been negative, 90 percent of ads that the Mitt Romney has run in the last few weeks have been negative.

And there was a poll out recently that just came out last week that showed we're at a historic place, where both candidates are viewed very negatively. Let's take a look, 32 percent Barack Obama, 24 percent Mitt Romney. Are we at a place where the -- the Mitt Romney strategy, message is fire him, and the Barack Obama -- its strategy is don't hire him, and it's been all negative with no vision for the future?

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