'This Week' Transcript: Larry Summers & Michael Steele

SUMMERS: What was done averted what could have been a profound collapse, but the credit markets in the country aren't working right. And that's an important part of the reason why the economy's not working right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But more money going to be needed down the road?

SUMMERS: And right now, we've got to put more money -- right now, we've got to put more money in to make that system more effective and to do it with transparency and accountability.

We'll do what's -- we'll do what's necessary. That's something the president has been very clear on. He wants us -- he believes the government needs to be leaning forward, that we need to make sure that we are ahead of these problems. And he'll be recommending whatever necessary -- whatever measures are necessary to achieve that objective.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no new money now, but maybe down the road?

SUMMERS: We'll see what happens, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Summers, thanks very much for your time today.

SUMMERS: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And now for the Republican perspective, the chairman, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele.

Welcome to "This Week" and your first appearance as chairman.

STEELE: Good to be here. Yes, it is. It's great to be with you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you heard Larry Summers right there on the stimulus package. He says that after eight years, after the last eight years, your party has no credibility on the economy.

STEELE: Well, I think that's laughable. I mean, he acts like we have spent the last eight years in -- in this -- in the mess that we're currently in. This is about 18 months old.

The reality of it is, Bush inherited a recession. He got us through that recession. The spending was out of whack. There's no doubt about that. And a lot of Republicans had a problem with the level of spending that took place during that time.

But the economy did grow. Close to 6 million jobs were created. Now we're on the downside of that and -- in that cycle. And the question now becomes, how do we as a country shore up this economy?

And I had -- didn't hear anything from Mr. Summers that assured me or reassured me that this administration gets it when it comes to how you create wealth in this nation. It is not by spending dollars on programs that you can put in a separate bill and deal with later on, instead of focusing on, you know, tax credits and -- and relief for small-business owners, incentives for people to get back into the credit markets, to deal with the mark-to-market rules that have stymied the banks and -- and deal with the housing crisis.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But outside of Washington, some strong Republican voices have said the stimulus package is needed now. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor Charlie Crist of Florida, he supports the package.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHARLIE CRIST, R-FLA.: This program will help us with education, with health care, Medicaid specifically, infrastructure. These are the kinds of things that produce jobs. It could mean $13 billion to the sunshine state. It comes at a time when we need it. People need jobs. It's about jobs, jobs, jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: He suggests that you and Republican Party leaders here in Washington are on the wrong side of the biggest issue, jobs.

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