'This Week' Transcript: Stephanie Cutter and Eric Fehrnstrom

So if you actually look at the actual track record of government spending, government employment, Reagan is the Keynesian and Obama -- mostly because of political constraints, although a little bit of lack of conviction on the part of his own people, has been the anti-Keynesian. He's been the one who's been doing what Republicans say is the right answer.

If I have a political critique, it's that this administration has been very reluctant to make that case. They've been very hesitant about saying, look, we're trying to do the right thing, but those guys won't let us, I think for fear of...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: But doesn't -- but -- you got to the point at the end. I think the danger of that argument -- you were making part of it right now -- is that the more you blame Congress and nothing gets done, the weaker you look.

KRUGMAN: Well, you know, I think they have no alternative (inaudible) what do I know about political strategy, right? But -- but -- but I think this is what they have to do now. They have to say, look, we -- we could have made this better. And, you know, Harry Truman, the do-nothing Republicans...

(CROSSTALK)

FEHRNSTROM: Could I say, George, just on -- on that point? I do think it's important for Republicans in Congress to come together with the president on some bipartisan jobs legislation. The problem is, this president has made it nearly impossible to do that because of the way he demonizes his opposition, his personal attacks against Paul Ryan.

I can tell you that when Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, he had to confront a Democratic legislature. Every week, he would invite the Democratic leaders to come into his office. They would discuss agenda items. If they didn't have an agenda to discuss, they would talk about the last movie they saw. But the important thing was to keep those lines of communication open. This president hasn't done that, and I think it's -- we're for the worse.

CUTTER: Well, in terms of the governor's Massachusetts record, I think that the Democratic leadership in Massachusetts would probably tell you a different story about Mitt Romney's ability to reach across the aisle. The number of vetoes of the Democratic legislature says it all.

On the president working with Republicans, it's been clear since day one that the president was willing to reach out to Republicans, work with them on critical pieces of legislation to get our economy moving. Time and time again, they've rebuffed him.

Now, whether you're talking about the secret meeting that they had on the day of the president's inaugural to figure out how they were going to defeat him or Mitch McConnell saying that his number-one goal to make the president a one-term president or bringing the economy to the brink of disaster last summer and resulting in a reduction in the nation's credit rating because Speaker Boehner couldn't get his Republicans together to do -- ensure that everybody paid their fair share and ensured this economy could keep moving.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about the plan going forward, because you mentioned the Ryan plan, the demonization of the Ryan plan, in your -- your words. Is Governor Romney saying that is going to be his blueprint for the budget going forward?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, at least he has a blueprint. The president hasn't produced a budget or at least a budget he did produce -- or the outline of the budget he produced was rejected unanimously in both branches.

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