'This Week' Transcript: Karl Rove and David Plouffe

CANTOR: Jonathan, it is about the fear. There is a better way, but that -- that's what's going on.

KARL: But I'm asking a specific question. I mean, we heard from the Republican leader in the House say that this is Armageddon, it's going to ruin the country. We have the vote tonight.

CANTOR: This is a bad bill that people are frightened -- they're frightened that they're losing their jobs right now, and here we're going to tax small businesses to the tune of $2,000 per job? You've got...

KARL: Does that ruin the country?

CANTOR: You've got folks -- you've got families thinking, how are we going to pay for the trillion-dollar debt that is going to occur from this bill alone? And how are our children going to pay for it?

What it is, Jonathan, it is about trying to attack the American ideal. That's what's going on with this bill. People are beginning to think they won't have the life that they've had for their children. That's what's going on. And I think that's...


LARSON: ... Social Security. I respect the fact that they want to...

CANTOR: Come on.

LARSON: That's true.


LARSON: Here's the thing. Here's the thing. Everybody ought to ratchet back just a little bit. And when you have two members of Congress, two respected members of the Congressional Black Caucus spat on and hurled epithets that were just...

KARL: Racial epithets.


LARSON: ... that were horrible, horrible.

CANTOR: Jonathan -- Jonathan, nobody...


CANTOR: ... nobody condones that at all. There were 30,000 people here in Washington yesterday. And, yes, there were some very awful things said.


CANTOR: But, I mean, come on. Nobody condones that kind of...


KARL: Is it time to ratchet it back a little bit...


LARSON: ... ratchet it back.


CANTOR: You know -- you know what it is time for? It's time to listen to the American people, and that is the stunning thing about this. You know, John said that there -- there will be some members who will lose their seat. This is a legacy vote; there's no question about it.

LARSON: It is.

CANTOR: It's a legacy vote...

KARL: On that note of agreement, we are -- we are out of time. And we'll be watching. You've told us you already have the votes. We'll be watching to see if you're right.

LARSON: We do.

KARL: Congressman Cantor, Congressman Larson, thank you for joining us here on "This Week."

LARSON: Happy to be here, Jon.

CANTOR: Thank you.


KARL: Joining me now, David Plouffe, President Obama's campaign manager, who the president brought back just a few months ago to plan strategy for Democrats heading into the midterms. He's also the author of "Audacity to Win."

And in Indianapolis, Karl Rove, the architect of President Bush's successful campaigns for president and the author -- we have your book, as well, Karl -- "Courage and Consequences."

So, David, listening to some of the analysis today, you would think we are either in the last six hours of the Obama presidency as we know it or the beginning of the great Obama comeback. What are the stakes here today?


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