'This Week' Transcript: Biden

BIDEN: -- yes. A lot of people in our administration, a lot of -- I mean, you know, even some Republican economists and some Nobel laureates like Paul Krugman, who continues to argue it was too small. But, you know, there was a reality. In order to get what we got passed, we had to find Republican votes. And we found three -- three. And we finally got it passed.

So there is the reality of whether or not the Republicans are willing to play, whether or not the Republicans are just about repeal and repeat the old policies or they're really wanting to do something. And I -- I'm not -- I'm not -- you know...

TAPPER: So if you didn't have Republicans that you had -- if you didn't have the legislative reality...

BIDEN: I think what...

TAPPER: -- it would have been bigger?

BIDEN: I think it would have been bigger. I think it would have been bigger. In fact, what we offered was slightly bigger than that. But the truth of the matter is that the recovery package, everybody's talking about it having -- it's over. The truth is now, we're spending more now this summer than we -- I'm calling this the recovery -- the summer of recovery. We have two, three times as many highway projects going. We have significant investment in broadband for the first time now. It's starting to really ramp up because the contracts have been let. In high speed rail, in wind energy.

I mean, where are the new jobs going to come from?

And that's what we're laying the foundation for. And, again, this is a hard slog, man. And it's counter-intuitive. It's counter-intuitive to say someone sitting at a kitchen table in Claymont, Delaware, who lost their jobs – by the way, we saved or created three million jobs and they pick up when we lost three million.

The truth is, over three million people who are now working would be out of work but for this. The truth of the matter is there's an overwhelming consensus that we're not losing jobs now, we're creating jobs. The argument's gone from losing jobs to are we creating them fast enough, not whether we're creating them. And nothing is fast enough till you get these people back to work.

TAPPER: Turning to Afghanistan...

BIDEN: Yeah.

TAPPER: -- which is foremost on a lot of Americans' minds, I want to read you a quote from Jonathan Alter's new book: "At the conclusion of an interview in his West Wing office, Vice President Biden was adamant in July of 2011, that we're going to see a whole lot of people moving out. 'Bet on it,' Biden said, as wheeled to leave the room, late for lunch with the president. He turned at the door and said once more, 'Bet on it.'"

Did you say that to...

BIDEN: I did say that.

TAPPER: -- to Jon Alter?

BIDEN: I did say that.

TAPPER: And what did you mean, a whole lot of people...

BIDEN: Well, what I said...

TAPPER: -- moving out?

BIDEN: -- if you read three or four paragraphs above that, Jonathan was making a very valid point. He was saying a lot in the military think they outmaneuvered the president to render the July date meaningless. And I was saying that's simply not true. The military signed on. Petraeus signed on. Everybody signed onto not a deadline, but a transition, a beginning of a transition.

TAPPER: But what does a whole lot of people moving out mean?

BIDEN: Well, what I was talking about was you have -- we're going to have over 100,000 people there and two...

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