'This Week' Transcript: Tim Pawlenty and David Axelrod

PAWLENTY: You know, I'm excited for the ticket. I'm excited for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan. I didn't support Governor Romney because I expected to be vice president, so I'm not disappointed. I didn't get something I didn't expect, but it's a great ticket, it's a terrific pick by Governor Romney, and Congressman Ryan, as you've already seen, is bringing energy to the ticket, and he's got a clear, specific vision, an adult approach to solving the nation's problems, and you don't see that from the president and his team.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Any comfort to know that both the president and his senior adviser, David Axelrod, thought you would be the pick?

PAWLENTY: I told David off air, I said I was reminded of the old phrase, "get off my side (ph)," because I don't think that helped, but –

(LAUGHTER)

PAWLENTY: But it was a nice set of comments that he made.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about what else, we brought up in the previous interview. You've heard the case against Paul Ryan. They are saying now that having the Ryan budget front and center defines Mitt Romney, makes him own these plans by Paul Ryan on Medicare, on government spending, and they're going to end Medicare as we know it. You heard the case David Axelrod made. Respond.

PAWLENTY: Well, I think the American people are smart, and I think the American people respect people who have real solutions to big problems. And so Congressman Ryan and Governor Romney have put together a plan that actually tackles the problem in specific, preserves Medicare and other programs for people who are already on the program, but begins to change it in needed and realistic ways for the next generation, and it's a big debate, it's an important debate, but unlike the president, they are actually willing to lead, they're actually willing to put meat on the bones, and put specific proposals on the table, and I think the American public will respect and appreciate that. They know we've got a problem. They know the federal spending is out of control. For every dollar the federal government spends, George, they don't have 40 cents of it. People aren't stupid. They know that can't continue. It's reckless and irresponsible, so they look at Congressman Ryan and Governor Romney and say, hey look, we know we need some changes. They are being fair about it because they're protecting the current enrollees and those who are close to the programs. But for those who are coming up, they're going to preserve Medicare as an option, but give people some other choices too.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- Congressional Budget Office says over the next 10 years, it could result in a decrease of about $6,000 for couples on Medicare.

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