David Plouffe Interview

President Obama's senior advisor on Trayvon Martin, re-election strategy.
10:53 | 03/25/12

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Transcript for David Plouffe Interview
Good morning everyone some news overnight former Vice President Dick Cheney is resting in Virginia hospital this morning after receiving a heart transplant yesterday. The 71 year old who suffered five heart attacks have been on the transplant waiting list for almost two years and his initial prognosis is good. And in the presidential race Rick Santorum riding high this morning after bowling -- Turkey in Wisconsin. And winning big in yesterday's Louisiana primary. It very clear and and Chris -- And that is that you don't believe is the funds has said that that this race is -- You didn't get the memo we're still here we're still fighting. But either way -- eleven wins this nomination battle Santorum is way behind. -- -- delegate race Mitt Romney in a commanding position with more delegates -- all his rivals combined. After his win in Illinois and -- Iran is the only candidate can wrap up the nomination before the convention. Was this all mean for the race against President Obama let's Begin with that and the president's top strategist David -- -- good morning mr. Clough. -- her so hearing Rick -- he's gonna keep on fighting must be music to your ears I know you in the present year old campaign think this -- this whole process. He's helping the president's chances. But earliest poll shows the -- Obama is in a dead heat. -- Mitt Romney despite the fact that this process has been going on so long -- this process is so grinding. For Republicans why is Mitt Romney tied with the president. Well George -- the White House were focused on doing everything we can help strengthen the economy create jobs and and -- the kind of clean energy future -- -- in terms of the campaign. We believed all along this can be very close election presidential elections generally are. -- we won what was considered to be a huge victory in 2008 we only got 53% of the vote. So there's going to be a close election that really isn't a change it was true last month -- -- chain true next month. The return November but -- -- how Mitt Romney right. Well listen that race -- had a lot of twists and turns -- -- torment another big win last night. Obviously Romney as you mentioned previously -- a big -- delicately so what I know is at some point whether it's next month or may or June or August at some point we're gonna have an opponent. Will be ready for that and will be ready to make our case for the American people about why this president deserves another four years. And about why we can't go back the same policies that led to the Great Recession. It's also pretty clear that one of the planks. In in your campaign is going to be this budget proposed by Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan has endorsed. By -- -- endorsing backed by most other Republican candidates throughout the course. This year but Paul -- when he introduced it went on offense this -- take a look. Medicare under the president's law. -- a half a trillion dollars from Medicare. To spend on his new health care proposals were saying get rid of the rationing board stopped the raid and preserve the system. Sounds like they're willing to take this fight on Medicare. While Georgia if Mitt Romney is the nominee. Then this really is going to be the Romney Ryan plan. He said he's -- rubber stamp it in fact its interest in Grover Norquist is kind of -- modern upper tier of the Republican Party. That really what they need in the president's to somebody with -- -- digits to sign legislation so the American people have to understand in Iran is elected president -- rubber stamp that budget and here's what that budget is. It fails the standard it's fails the test of -- balance and fairness and shared responsibility. It showers huge additional tax cuts on the wealthy. It better paid for by veterans and and seniors in the middle class so it's not a balanced approach it it it asks nothing of the wealthiest in fact -- showers them with more tax cuts. He devastated things like education. And -- doubts rises Medicare. Which really would threaten our program and threaten our senior so the president's approach is the right approach it's the balanced approach and by the way -- the approach that. Whether it's the Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson commission. Domenici Rivlin. Any most of anybody out there -- offered a deficit reduction plan any expert says it's gotta have balance -- -- just got to cut spending we've already -- a lot of spending almost two trillion dollars. It's got to reform entitlements in the right -- and you've got to get revenue through tax reform the Ryan plan -- Ryan plan doesn't do any of that all it does is drastically cut. Kind of indiscriminately in areas that will help the economy and showers the wealthy would -- tax. -- the Simpson Bowles plan as you know the president taken some heat for not fully embracing. That plan -- many of his critics in the senate Democrats haven't even come forward with a budget for years. Well it's -- Simpson -- you know there was a lot of elements of that that ended up in the president's deficit reduction plan. So. A lot of the ideas and there are derivative that now we did have some issues of that we thought this as security cuts -- -- -- It didn't guarantee protection of the middle class in terms of tax increase I do get a kick George he sees Republicans saying if only the president -- supported since involves. That had two trillion dollars in tax increases more than the president's revenue. It had more defense cuts in the sequester. That they're so upset about so it's preposterous to think that somehow there's some story -- out there these guys ask and ask each of them. Do you support two trillion dollars in revenue no. Do you support additional defense cuts so but what we do need is -- Simpson Bowles was the spirit of what we need and they made a great contribution -- -- proposal which is we need a balanced approach that. Has revenue particularly from the wealthy through tax reform. Mortar cuts we've done a lot already we can do a little bit -- intent to spending and then obviously time. Let's talk about health care unprecedented three days -- bargains for the Supreme Court on president Obama's health care law this week and the public seems -- be going into this fight before the Supreme Court very negative on the president's plan we have our latest CBC poll showing that 52%. Of the American public now opposes. The president slot. -- 25%. Want the Supreme Court to strike down that individual mandate the requirement to buy health insurance 42%. Want the Supreme Court to scrap the law altogether two years after its passage why haven't you been able to bring the public along on health care. Well first George you know you see a lot of polls on this issue as July polls also show that people don't want to go refight this political battle again. What they want us to do is implement the law smartly make adjustments -- much like giving states more flexibility to implement this but. Most of the law doesn't take effect of 2014. We've got hundreds of millions dollars -- propaganda stand against it. Now you are beginning to -- parts of the law come into effect. Kids between 2226. Over two million now have health insurance they can -- the parents plant because of the Health Care Reform. You've got over five million seniors now getting 600 dollars roughly of prescription drug assistance women now are treated equally as men and our health care system. Free preventive care like -- like mammograms and cancer screenings so we just have to tell the story of this. I want them -- -- his by the end of this decade we're going to be very glad the Republicans from this obamacare because when the reality of health care is in place it's going to be nothing like. The kind of fear mongering that was done and now as it relates -- Supreme Court we're confident that it's going to be upheld. You -- democratic and Republican jurists upheld it in lower court decision including two very prominent conservative -- the mandate is an idea supported by The Heritage Foundation. Newt Gingrich Bob Dole most famously kind of the godfather of the mandate Mitt Romney so we're confident that it will be upheld. OK let me turn to the issue of gay marriage the chairman of your convention mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles. Nancy Pelosi democratic here in the house 22 senators of all come out. For a plank in the democratic platform. Supporting gay marriage -- show the first sentence right -- -- says the Democratic Party supports the full inclusion of all families in the life of our nation with equal respect. Responsibility and protection under the law including. The freedom to marry now the president has said he's evolving on the issue of gay marriage but he still oppose does that mean he's gonna fight. The inclusion of this plank in the democratic platform. -- -- you said the president spoke to this issue I certainly don't have anything to add that today we don't even have a platform committee yet much less. A police -- -- draft like right there. Well we're gonna work to the platform process here what I think's important. What is going to be in -- Republican platform if there -- consistent with what their presidential candidates have said is to reinstitute Don't Ask Don't Tell. To defend aggressively the defense of marriage act. On the other side you have the president who's had. Groundbreaking progress for gays and lesbians in this country so I think there's going to be a big difference on these issues of fairness and equality. And obviously the platform process play out in coming model like -- -- -- what he believes on this issue. Well George he has said what he believed as he said it's a very this is a very. Important issue. It's a profound issue he's spoken -- this you know and great with great detail I don't have anything to add to that. I'm very proud and he's very proud of what he's accomplished in terms of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. In terms and not defending defense of marriage act -- -- to some of the benefits were making -- federal employees of same sex partners get so I think he's spoken not not just spoken to. But he's delivered some really important victories in terms of fairness for gays and lesbians and. The president also spoke out this week on this horrible killing in Florida -- Martin. The young man and it's raised such it is such -- debate. All across the country when the president on Friday came and -- said if I had a son he would look like train bond. Newt Gingrich could take exception listen. But the prime minister of innocence is disgraceful. My question of who -- young men look like any young American of any ethnic background should be saying. Period. When we should all be horrified -- no matter what -- ethnic background. There's the president suggesting that it would have little white have been shot they'll be okay that it would look like him this is nonsense. Well first of all the president spoke that I thought very powerfully and in fact there's been broad agreement. Almost universal agreement including the people running for president. That there ought to be a thorough investigation of this those comments are reprehensible and you know and speaker Gingrich is clearly the last throes of his political career. And you know you can make a decision whether to go out some shred of dignity -- say these irresponsible reckless things and he's clearly chosen the latter path and that's unfortunate for the country. The president did say that we all need to go through some soul searching. Right now did dealing does he believe that -- -- ground laws that are now in place in about twenty states should be realized. Well I think what he spoke to on Friday is focuses first -- -- obviously on the tragedy of losing a young person any young person no matter the gender race. Tragedy for the country. And obviously to make sure thorough investigations done both at the local level and federal level there's going to be times he's that we need to reflect. -- reflect on this incident. Looking at the laws will be part of that -- right now our focus ought to be on sympathy for the family. And then making sure investigation is done thoroughly and there seems to be -- you know agreement on that across. -- that the partisan divide you have Democrats and Republicans independents everybody saying let's look into this and I think that's what's gonna happen. The -- thanks for -- time this morning. -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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