'This Week' Transcript: Tony Blair


WILL: I don't think this is a communication problem. Parties in power that start having trouble, they say, "Nothing's wrong with our message. We just need to be more articulate about it."

I think the country has decided about this president that they were -- betrayed may be too strong, but somehow deceived. They didn't think they voted for this. And that's why they have, in a sense, tuned out.

Combined with his strategy of communication, which is to have no strategy at all. Strategy means you do some things and not other things. You have priorities. He is in the country's face all the time talking, and people have been...


JORDAN: But I think they -- I think people don't know what "this" is yet from this president.


JORDAN: And that's the uncertainty. And that's why there's no demand. People are not spending. And that's why people -- businesses don't want to hire. It's the uncertainty.

KRUGMAN: I've -- I totally disagree with all of that. People are not -- businesses are not hiring because there's no demand. There's no demand because consumers took an enormous hit. This is not a problem that's a problem of lack of confidence. This is a problem of fundamentally things are bad, there's too much debt, you need to give the economy a boost so that people can get out of that.

But what is true on all of this is that Obama has had no vision. He has not articulated a philosophy. What is Obama's philosophy of government? He wobbles between sounding kind of like a liberal. Then he says, well, the conservatives have some points, too. He concedes the message.

There's never been anything like what Reagan did, which was to say, "We've been on the wrong track. We're going to follow a very different track. That's going to change things. You need to, you know, support us in this."

AMANPOUR: Can I just ask you? Because some commentators, some articles were writing about the figures this week, the unemployment figures, which were slightly less bad than people expected, and they say that the word of the week should be, A, reassuring on that, and also that the figures show that, in fact, there won't be a double-dip recession, which everybody was predicting last week there would be.

KRUGMAN: It's a -- my basic reaction is, who cares? You know, if unemployment rises, who cares if we technically have a second recession? It doesn't really matter for the -- for the people. It doesn't matter for -- for the politics even, right?

So in a way, I'm in the camp that says that that, you know, less bad, things getting worse more slowly than expected was actually a bad thing, because it removes some of the urgency about doing something.

AMANPOUR: Let me pull this -- put this poll up on the economy. Basically, they were asked, do you think Democrats or Republicans in Congress would do a better job of dealing with the economy? And 38 percent said the Democrats, 49 percent said the Republicans.

Question is, let's say -- and now people are saying they could lose the House and, indeed, the Senate -- what would that economic plan be? What is the articulation of that?

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