'This Week' Transcript: Rahm Emanuel

Second, we're losing on average 700,000 jobs. The last three months we've been adding on average about 140,000 jobs. Those are dramatic swings in 12 months. Now we have broken the back of the recession, but what we haven't -- what we don't have is a fast enough, strong enough recovery. And that's the focus of the president's agenda on a going forward basis.

We took decisive action, as the president indicated, break the back of the recession, the spin (ph) that it was getting close to something more precarious. But this recovery is not strong enough for the American people, not adding jobs quick enough. As you saw, the president spoke just the other day about 10,000 construction project that will going on.

What are the steps that are necessary? First and foremost, pass a comprehensive energy bill. Second, we're in the closing days of getting comprehensive, sweeping financial regulatory reform to give the markets certainty.

Third, the House has passed just this week, and he has called on the Senate to take it up, which they will in due time, is a small business lending bill. And third, one of the headwinds for the economy is the fact that state and local governments are facing their financial situations, are laying off teachers. And it is the president's view that it's better to have teachers in the classroom than on the unemployment line.

We have to help those communities in this particular window of time to get -- help teachers stay in the classroom, not make those cuts. They add to the unemployment when they have a responsibility in that classroom. And in the long-term basis, the president said, and this was a matter of sequencing, we have got to deal with our fiscal condition as a country -- our a long-term fiscal situation.

We have taken certain steps like instituting a pay-as-you-go rule that had been in absence for 10 years in Washington, which was responsible for -- one of the reasons we added the largest amount of debt in the nation's history in the shortest period of time.

But day (ph) steps what the economy needs is to take critical steps and making sure that we're dealing with our energy policy, small business lending, and making sure teachers stay in the classroom rather than on the unemployment lines.

TAPPER: I know your time is valuable, I just have a couple of more questions. A National Public Radio poll this week of voters in 60 competitive Democratic-held congressional districts, by Stan Greenberg, who did the polling for you when you took back the House in 2006, had some bad news.

"Which statement comes closer to your own view? President Obama's economic policies helped avert an even worse crisis and are laying the foundation for our eventual economic recovery: 37 percent. President Obama's economic policies have run up a record federal deficit while failing end the recession or slow the record pace of job losses: 57 percent."

How many Democrats are going to lose their seats because of the president's policies?

EMANUEL: Jake, first of all, midterm elections are always bad for the party in power. Second of all...

TAPPER: Those are some bad numbers.

EMANUEL: Yes. But I will tell you this. I do know politics well enough to say this. Anybody that tells you sitting here in the middle of June how many the number is, doesn't know anything about politics. It's as simple as that. Because there's a lot to happen here.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...