'This Week' Transcript: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

OBAMA: Background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.

KARL: None of that happened. Isn't this year only going to be harder?

CARNEY: Those were calls for action that involved Congress. The president is very disappointed that the Senate failed to heed the will of the vast majority of the American people when it came to expanding background checks

On immigration reform, we're actually optimistic that 2014 will be the year that Congress delivers to the president's desk a bipartisanship, comprehensive immigration reform bill that meets the principles he laid out and that he can sign into law.

KARL: But it's what the president has already signed into law...

OBAMA: We are done.

KARL: His signature achievement health care reform, that's shaping up to be the biggest headache for Democrats in 2014. Our poll shows 59 percent disapprove of how Obamacare has been implemented. And conservative groups are blasting Democratic candidates over Obamacare.

ANNOUNCER: Obamacare doesn't work.

KARL: Will it have been worth it if you lose the Senate? I mean you already lost the House because of the health care law.

CARNEY: Look, I'll tell you what...

KARL: Will it have been worth it politically?

CARNEY: Expanding access to quality and affordable health insurance to millions of Americans, reducing the growth in health care costs, which is happening...

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: Would it have been worth it if you lose the Senate?

I mean you already lost the House because of the health care law.

CARNEY: Look, I'll tell you what...

KARL: Will it have been worth it politically?

CARNEY: Expanding access to quality and affordable health insurance to millions of Americans, reducing the growth in health care costs, which is happening at a rate...

KARL: Would it have been worth it if you lose the Senate?

CARNEY: You know what...

KARL: That's a simple...

CARNEY: -- this is not about politics. So the answer is, it is absolutely worth it, no matter what happens politically...

KARL: Even if you lose the Senate?

CARNEY: -- because what -- and I tell you -- and I just -- I just disagree that Republicans are going to have a winning issue on this, if they decide to run on it, because they've got to explain what repeal means.

KARL (voice-over): In the State of the Union Tuesday, a key focus for the president, income inequality. But many Republicans say the president is to blame for raising poverty, as Senator Tim Scott told my colleague, Jeff Zeleny.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I mean seven million more Americans are living in poverty today that were not in poverty when Bush was leaving office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARNEY: I assume Senator Scott didn't notice that, you know, a lot of people were thrown into poverty by the worst recession since the Great Depression, which was in full bloom when President Obama was sworn into office.

KARL (on camera): But the president has had five years, Jay. I mean...

CARNEY: And...

KARL: -- five years. And the -- the economic crisis is in the rearview mirror. The Bush years are in the rearview mirror.

And he hasn't been able to turn this around.

Doesn't the president bear some responsibility -- his policies -- for the fact that the poverty rate in America has gone up and the gap between rich and poor is only greater?

CARNEY: What I can tell you, Jon, is that the -- the problem and the challenge the president has identified has been one in the making for over 30 years.

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