'This Week' Transcript: Karl Rove and David Plouffe

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.

ROVE: This is a debate the Democrats have lost.

KARL: OK, I want to get both of you to respond to something. This is a poll that came out about what Americans think about the process here, and this is a Kaiser -- Kaiser Family Foundation poll about the health care -- possibly getting health care passed. Only 19 percent say they believe the process is working as intended, and 73 percent said the process is broken. Frankly, I think a lot of Americans listening to this debate right here might agree exactly with that 73 percent who say the process is not working.

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