'This Week' Transcript: VP-Elect Joe Biden

And every single person I've spoken to agrees with every major economist. There is going to be real significant investment, whether it's $600 billion or more, or $700 billion, the clear notion is, it's a number no one thought about a year ago.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And President-elect Obama can sign it into law as President Obama by February?

BIDEN: Well, God willing, because, look, we can't -- the whole idea here is the single most important thing we have to do as a new administration, to have -- to be able to have impact on all of the other things we want to do, from foreign policy to domestic policy, is we've got to begin to stem this bleeding here and begin to stop the loss of jobs in the creation of jobs.

Our goal is the combination of stem the loss and create new jobs. We -- there are 2.5 million jobs we can do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You mention being on the phone with other senators.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you've been fairly invisible since the election. Can you lift the veil a little bit on what else you've been doing during the transition?

BIDEN: Well, sure. Look, let me start off and define for you, at least, the role that Barack and I have worked out for me as vice president.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'd like to ask you about that, because your staff said you wanted to restore the Office of the Vice President to its historical role.

BIDEN: Well, let – I – my staff use of historic, that's now how I think of it. I think we should restore the balance here. The role of the vice president of the United States as I see it is to give the president of the United States the best, sagest, most accurate, most insightful advice and recommendations he or she can make to a president to help them make some of the very, very important decisions that have to be made. When Barack Obama, Senator Barack Obama then talked to me about being his vice president I said we have to – let's talk and we spent three and a half hours talking and one of the things I asked was, I said I don't want to be picked unless you're picking me for my judgment. I don't want to be the guy that goes out and has a specific assignment – an important assignment to reinvent government, which Al Gore did a great job of. Dealing with some specific discrete item.

I said I want a commitment from you that in every important decision you'll make, every critical decision, economic and political as well as foreign policy, I'll get to be in the room.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Has he kept it?

BIDEN: He's kept it. Every single solitary appointment he has made thus far I have been in the room, the recommendations I have made in most cases coincidentally have been the recommendations that he's picked. Not because I made them but because we think a lot alike. I have been there for every one of those meetings. I have been asked, the president is going to announce today, the formation, for example, of a middle class task force that I will chair …

STEPHANOPOULOS: So isn't that a specific responsibility?

BIDEN: It is a specific responsibility in terms of – it is a discrete job that is going to last only for a certain period of time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What will it do?

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