'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Charles Schumer

I'd make this larger point. The tectonic plates of our politics have changed. For the first five years of the Obama administration, the two issues that dominated were health care and budget deficit. This year, dealing with declining middle class incomes and not enough job growth will be the number one issue. And if, on the first day of the new session, the Republican Party says they won't even support an unemployment benefit extension -- the original round was started by George Bush when unemployment was 5.6 percent -- they're going to show themselves so far out of the mainstream, it's going to hurt them in the election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But your analysis assumes that the corner turns on ObamaCare.

Are you confident...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- it's going to be working and will not be a deadweight for your candidate?

SCHUMER: Look, look at New York. It's working well in New York. Now, we did not have the federal exchange. We had a state plan. We have 16 insurance companies competing. We're ahead of projections. And I hear from people left and right, I'm getting much better health care now than I had before.

That's going to start happening around the country.

At the same time, the 75 percent to 85 percent of people who aren't affected by the individual insurance, because they either Medicare, Medicaid, or most of them have their employer paying, are going to find that the parade of horribles that right-wing talk radio put out -- you'll lose your insurance, you'll pay more -- aren't going to happen.

And I think that the assets over 2014 are going to increase. The liabilities are going to decrease.

But all of it will be dwarfed by the issue, who's going to get middle class incomes rising again?

For the first time in a -- in history, they dropped over the last decade by a lot, 10 percent. That's why the middle class is so angry and sour.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that inequality also being addressed by your new mayor of New York here, Bill de Blasio, this week...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- in his inauguration. And the centerpiece of his plan is to raise taxes on people earning over $500,000 a year to pay for education.

As far as I've seen, you haven't yet come out in support of this?

Do you support it or not?

SCHUMER: Well, no, I've supported an increase in taxes at the federal level, from 35 percent to 39 percent. It's a more difficult issue at the state level, because people can leave and go to Connecticut or New Jersey or somewhere else. So I've left that to them and I'm working at the federal level...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But for New York, do you support it or not?

SCHUMER: Well, I'm leaving it up to the -- to de Blasio and Cuomo to work that one out. I have enough trouble at the federal level.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're just going to stay out of this one.

SCHUMER: You got you.


Finally, clemency for Edward Snowden?

SCHUMER: No, I don't believe so. Snowden says that he's in the grand tradition of civil disobedience in this country. It is a grand tradition. Part of that tradition is you pay the consequences. If you break the law because your conscience says you have to, you stand trial. That's what -- or -- and pay the consequences. That's what Martin Luther King did, Mahatma Gandhi over in India. The most on-point case is Daniel Ellsberg.

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