'This Week' Transcript: Karl Rove and David Plouffe

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.

So my question to you, David, isn't that in some sense an indictment of President Obama since he got elected promising to change this system?

PLOUFFE: Well, he's trying to. First of all, in almost every poll out there, well over 60 percent of the American people believe that President Obama is trying to work with the Republicans. The Congress -- it's true. Well over (ph) 60 percent of the people believe the Republicans aren't reciprocating. And worse than that, it's not because of principle. They believe it's because of raw, naked politics.

So he's trying. He's making his executive branch more transparent, lessening the influence of lobbyists, so he's going to continue -- by the way, on immigration, on education, on some of the energy ideas, I think we have an opportunity to work in a bipartisan fashion, and he's going to look for that opportunity each and every day.

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


ROVE: This is an indictment of the president. He held a bicameral, bipartisan meeting on March 5th of 2009 to talk with people about health care reform. The next time he had a substantive meeting with Republicans to talk about health care reform was the Blair House kabuki drama on February 25th of 2010.

You cannot go for 51 weeks shutting the Republicans out of the debate and claim that you provided leadership. He has been aloof, distant, detached. This bill is based on Bernie Madoff economics and includes things that he campaigned against Hillary Clinton and Bill and -- and John McCain on during the campaign. And it is a bad bill for America.

KARL: All right.

ROVE: And we will fight the election on this, and the Democrats will have significant losses in the House and Senate as a result of this bill.

KARL: You have 10 seconds.

PLOUFFE: Well, listen, Karl and a lot of Republicans want to call the election all over. They ought to break out that "Mission Accomplished" banner they put on the USS Abraham Lincoln, OK?


ROVE: ... that is cheesy, David...


ROVE: ... honoring the USS Abraham Lincoln for the -- for the longest mission...


KARL: Karl Rove...

ROVE: ... aircraft carrier in American history. And you should not denigrate the mission of the...


ROVE: ... like you've just did.

KARL: Karl Rove, joining us from Indianapolis, Karl, thanks for joining us on "This Week." David Plouffe...

PLOUFFE: Thank you.

ROVE: ... thank you very much. I think we'll be debating this some more.



DASCHLE: As we profess the desire and the need for bipartisanship, we have a process that is this inexcusable on an issue this important. I think it is fair to say -- and I don't know that any Republicans would ever dispute it -- the Democrats were virtually locked out from the beginning on this issue.

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