'This Week' Transcript: Karl Rove and David Plouffe

ROVE: ... that is bunk. That is complete bunk. Republicans have offered a positive alternative on health care, and you didn't bother to have one meeting between March 5th of 2009 and February 25th of 2010 to discuss how the White House could involve some of those Republican ideas in the bill.

Don't give us that bunk. That is another one of those false arguments offered by the White House. In fact, you know what? The way that you have sold this bill to Democrats by threatening them, you cannot tell me that the White House didn't sanction some of these groups like MoveOn.org and others to make these kind of threats against Democrats.

We do know that the White House sent out unsolicited e-mails to federal employees asking them to contact their legislators about this bill. I think that's not only a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act on e-mails, I think it's a violation, more importantly, of the anti-lobbying statutes. And that's the kind of techniques that you've been using on this bill, threats, hardball politics, and if need be, withholding federal -- the support of the president of the United States from Democrats.

You said earlier this week -- the White House did -- that the president would be campaigning actively and raising money for Democrats who supported that bill. That is a thinly disguised bribe.

KARL: Is that right?

PLOUFFE: This is just outrageous. No. The president has been...

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: Look in the newspapers, man. Look in the newspapers.

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: The White House political office leaked it to the press, saying the White House policy will to provide the president to go campaign for...

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: ... campaigning for...

ROVE: That is a thinly described bribe.

KARL: OK, so the president will be campaigning for Democrats who vote no?

PLOUFFE: I'm sure he'll be out there helping people who vote yes on this, who vote no on this, people who voted yes on the Recovery Act, which, by the way, Karl claimed is a failed program. The economy's growing.

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: ... jobs have been lost...

(CROSSTALK)

PLOUFFE: ... because of this.

ROVE: That's right, government jobs, government jobs. You promised us...

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: ... private sector. You promised us 4 million jobs.

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: ... million have been lost since that bill...

KARL: Let's get him to respond.

PLOUFFE: So, no -- but, listen, you want to talk about the fall elections, OK? We're going to have a great debate, OK? It's going to be about health care reform, and I think that's a debate that we are positioned to win. It's also going to be about -- listen, people have a very clear memory about what it was like under Republican leadership, OK?

The debt -- the policies that created huge deficits that devastated the middle class -- you've got the leader of the House Republicans...

ROVE: David is right -- David is right that we...

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: ... they have lost over the last year...

(CROSSTALK)

PLOUFFE: The leader of the House Republicans, who would be the speaker if they won, has been shaking down Wall Street, saying, "Hey, we're the guys trying to protect you"...

(CROSSTALK)

PLOUFFE: ... protect your pay, who are fighting against banking reform.

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: This -- this election will be about health care, if this bill passes...

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: Karl, we're almost out of time. I want...

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: ... respond to something.

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