This Week Transcript: Peter Orszag and Eric Cantor

We developed a plan that, frankly, we felt could create twice as many jobs at half the cost. Now, that plan did not make its way into Speaker Pelosi's stimulus bill. But that doesn't mean...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, the White House -- let me just stop you there, because the president says and the White House says that they did incorporate some of your suggestions. They incorporated some of the tax cut suggestions you had; they also incorporated your ideas on government transparency to put -- to put the spending up on a Web site so everybody knew what was going on.

CANTOR: Well -- well, George, again, on the transparency issue, when I met with then-President-elect Obama, I suggested that we put everything up online immediately so we could have some ventilation of ideas in this country. Unfortunately, what went up online was the finished product once everything was hammered out, and the public did not have enough opportunity to, I think, opine on what they felt their taxpayer dollars should be spent on.

But, look, at the end of the day, the public is looking for results. They're tired of Washington just throwing money at a problem without having a well-thought-out plan.

That's what we need to do. We need to focus on how we can return to an era of job creation, of more confidence on the part of small- business people, so that the middle class in this country can regain the financial security that they lost through regaining job security.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, it's not just Democrats who say that the Republican response has been wanting. Governor Jon Huntsman of Utah made some -- made some headlines this week when he -- he talked about the approach of the Republican leadership here in Washington. Here's what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JON HUNTSMAN JR., R-UTAH: I've not met them. I don't listen or read to whatever it is they say, because it's inconsequential completely. The future of our party will be based upon what happens in the laboratories and the incubators of democracy, make no mistake about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Those are some pretty harsh words from a member of your own party, a governor of your own party.

CANTOR: Well, I cannot comment, because I haven't spoken to the governor. But let me -- let's say this, George. You know that the House Republicans have 178 members in the House out of 435. Speaker Pelosi does not need our votes to pass any legislation.

But what we need to do as a party is we need to be out there positing affirmative plans, positive alternatives to the problems facing this country. And, frankly, I believe that the people of this country think that we are spending entirely too much money, the money that we don't have. And as we see in this budget that has been presented last week, it is proposing massive tax increases on people and on businesses that can't afford to pay them.

So we need to get some balance. We need to have a focus on middle-class families to make sure that the uncertainty is lifted and they can regain their confidence, as well as the investing public, so we can see job creation again.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Governor Huntsman says that you're not going to be reaching out to broaden the base of the party, reaching out to young people who've left the Republican Party in droves, unless you do have that positive agenda on the environment, unless you move to the middle on issues like gay rights. Are you prepared to do that in the House?

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