'This Week' Transcript: Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels

PAWLENTY: Well, the current system can't continue. But our plan is going to have some of these features. One, we're not going to pay Medicare providers under my plan just for volumes of services provided. We're going to pay for better results and better health care outcome, and we're going to put hospitals and clinics and providers on a performance pay system, not just a volume pay system.

And we're going to give people lots of choices. If they want to stay in the current Medicare program or whatever comes next in that program, great, that's their choice, but we're also going to offer them a serious of other choices so they can pick what's best for them and their families, and then they'll have the opportunity to be in the driver's seat.

And we'll also have incentives, financial incentives to make wise choices as it relates to cost and quality of health care.

AMANPOUR: Do you think in the things that we're facing right now, whether it's Medicare, whether it's the deficit, whether it's the debt, can any of these things be tackled by one party or another? Or does it demand and require both party action?

PAWLENTY: We hope for everybody to come together and be a team and move forward in the right direction for the country. But as you know, there are some sharp differences about what the correct solution is here.

So I think any doofus can go to Washington, D.C., and maintain the status quo or incrementally change things. But for the country, the hour is late, Christiane, and we have to take significant action soon. This is time for people who are wanting to be leaders in a bold way to come forward and say, "We really have to change things significantly."

AMANPOUR: Define "doofus."

PAWLENTY: That's a Minnesota term. And doofus would mean somebody who would be relatively low performing.

AMANPOUR: All right. Let's talk about this huge debate going on in Washington and around the country about the debt ceiling. If you were president, would you ask Congress to raise it now?

PAWLENTY: I don't think we should raise the debt ceiling. And if the Congress moves in that direction, the president, they better get something really good for it. It better be permanent, and it better be structural, like a balanced budget amendment and like permanent caps and limits on spending that are specific, not just aspirational.

AMANPOUR: Are you being political right now or do you really, really mean that one should not raise the debt ceiling, given the fact that most economists say that it would -- it would make a cascade of catastrophic economic situations?

PAWLENTY: Well, there are some serious voices challenging that very premise. And the answer is nobody really knows, because we've not been at this point before.

AMANPOUR: But many people would say we would be at that point at our peril and that it is not like an argument over shutting down the government for a few days. This is a major, major earthquake in the economic system.

PAWLENTY: Well, again, there are -- there are people who've written thoughtfully -- and these are serious people...

AMANPOUR: So do you not believe that, then?

PAWLENTY: Well, I'd -- what I'd...

AMANPOUR: Is your position that it would not affect the economy of the United States or the credibility of the United States or the creditworthiness of the United States?

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