'This Week' Transcript: Dan Pfeiffer, Sen. Rand Paul, and Nate Silver

His supposed take on Bill Clinton. I like him, in doses.

And the splashiest claim, the Obama campaign secretly did research on the possibility of replacing Vice President Biden with Hillary Clinton.

(on camera): Did Vice President Biden know that the campaign was conducting polling and focus groups on the possibility of replacing him?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Jon, I don't know the details of that. It was something that the president would never have accepted.


KARL: And all of this is weighing heavily on the president's poll numbers, which George, this week, are approaching levels almost as low as George Bush in the aftermath of Katrina.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Jon Karl, you're coming back for the roundtable.

Let's join now to the top strategist for President Obama Dan Pfeiffer. Thanks for coming in today.

And begin with this book and try to clear some things up. First of all, the bottom line on this potential switch between Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, research was done, correct?

PFEIFFER: Correct.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what happened next?

PFEIFFER: This was never seriously considered. Never taken to the president. I can tell you, no one in the campaign as well as the president ever serious considered this in any way shape or form.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But then why was the research done?

PFEIFFER: Research is done on a lot of things. Is, I think, Bill Daley, who was chief of staff at the time, said the other morning on another network, it wasn't taken to the president. He said anyone who took it to the president probably have been thrown out of the office. I believe that to be true.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No matter what the research would have shown?

PFEIFFER: No matter what the research said.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Cover of New York magazine also has that line from President Obama "I just don't know if I can do this." It goes inside the debate prep. In the second debate, you saw in Jon Karl's piece, those relatively dismissive comments about President Clinton.

And first of all, did this happen the way it's portrayed in the book? Was the president this rattled after the first debate?

PFEIFFER: Well, look I haven't read the book. So I don't know all the details of it. There's no question the first debate did not go as well as anyone would have hoped. But he bounced back in the second and the third. It took work to get there. It took work from the president and his team.

So, I think all of that is sort of half history.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it also includes a scene where the president had to dramatically cut back on his strategy meetings because of leaks. The president very, very angry about that. I can only imagine what he's thinking as he sees all of these details in the book?

PFEIFFER: Well, look, we are not the first White House to deal with leaks. Every White House has dealt with it. I think we have been more leak-free than most. And where we find them we try to stop them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is he angry about this?

PFEIFFER: He -- the president is always frustrated about leaks. I haven't talked to him about this book. I haven't read it. He hasn't read it. But he hates leaks. Everyone hates leaks. Because the point is we should be able to work together to get the American people's work done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no one is going to pay a price for this?

PFEIFFER: I think anyone who leaks has to pay the price. I don't know who leaked in that book.

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