Seamus, Medicare, and Chains: Today's Q's for O's WH

Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper presses Jay Carney on campaign rhetoric and Medicare.
3:00 | 08/16/12

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Transcript for Seamus, Medicare, and Chains: Today's Q's for O's WH
-- Three solutions to remember him putting his. As a part of this important policies of any candidate for pollution in three different speeches that was a joke just like. I think Ronnie campaign and others had joked about. Fact in the president's memoir he talked about it simple way. Eating dog meat in Indonesia because that. It's something it's done you know I think a little levity. Is a lot different from the time. And ridiculous charges that are being made here. The whole -- that it's an -- in case in point though the president on that day spent a great deal of time talking about the importance of the wind energy tax credit. The importance to renewable energy sector in this country which has doubled its output its production under this president because of the story it investments that. This administration has made in that sector and about the fact that. Extension of that tax credit is supported by both Democrats and Republicans. Republicans in the states that are principally affected including governors and senators. But is opposed by. Congress Washington it's. That's an issue that effects. -- jobs and livelihood of up to 7000 people in Iowa it affects the jobs and livelihood of up to 37 people around 37000 people around them. Country. In an industry that did it employs. Roughly 75000 people in this country and and and it's an industry did. Has been growing and will continue to grow if we make kinds of wise investments one sure that as we move forward in this century. We rely less and less on foreign imports of energy and more and more on American energy and that's that is a substantive policy issue and and one. Joke as an aside should not become the focus of the campaign or the coverage of the campaign I understand -- Republicans don't want to talk about the wind energy tax credit. Answers and instant as to think the president talking. Is going through is it going to. Elevate and become what some photographers who -- cable pan. And that will step on. Step on the president's message on wind energy -- -- specially considering it was obviously has prepared remarks well let me. Make clear this. The president's message that -- it was on wind energy it was not on joke and and maybe. Maybe I -- -- to think that a play one line joke about. The dog would not then become the principal focus of the coverage of the president of the day I -- it wasn't in Iowa that principal focus coverage. Focus was on the importance of the wind energy tax credit. -- You know like I take your point -- -- be last night in the future. We talked about it here for exactly does the president believe that terrorists on sustainable. The president believes they -- and nose and others have judged -- so that the affordable care. That he fought hard for in the congress passed and he signed into law extends. The life no wait I'll get to all the -- here but from -- fully. Extends the life of Medicare. By eight years the solvency of Medicare by eight years he knows. To act as outside experts have made clear. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed as. Republican leaders -- Republican nominee. Have ardently expressed their desire to do. Medicare's insolvency will come eight years sooner. That's an irrefutable fact. He knows this he said in in the discussions and debates and the proposals about. The steps we need to take to get our fiscal house in order through a balanced approach to. Reducing our deficit -- that we need to. Make additional reforms did protect beneficiaries but things are insured it Medicare remains in place as Medicare. Not a voucher system. For future generations so. So the fact is he has through its actions. It criticism. To -- -- but -- -- it much more needs to be it's a question that severely. Here is physical challenges that we need to address and we need to address them and a balanced way don't need to do it no way anyone of the marvels of the marvelous exciting Ryan budget is that. Despite claims. Two deficit -- if this is that you that budget makes no claims to balancing. Deficits. There are eliminating deficits. -- -- something like thirty years from now. Because it's so preoccupied with -- And dominated by giving tax cuts to. Wealthy America. A year ago with the program -- -- I believe right before it fell apart the president -- this room and I asked -- what was one. Think he was willing to concede on Medicare and -- all of -- negotiations that. That he would -- he wouldn't talk about retirement. -- Maybe further means testing. -- something -- consider. But since then we have we seen any serious proposal to help sustainability of Medicare and say what you will outline plan it does look. Four it does is a plan or the -- -- there is made an outline airport trying to change the system to preserve. This -- disagree. Where is the president I think it. President -- what he said to you in this briefing room. Remains true today and it's reflected in the budget proposal he put forward both for the super committee in this -- it has additional reforms and savings from. Out of federal health care spending but what it does not -- It is attempts to get our fiscal house in order by placing the entire burden. On seniors and families with disabled children. Or other low income Americans who depend on these health care programs. Literally for intense -- in some cases -- there's -- line. That's just not we and you know what the thing is we don't have to do. The president's plan other balance plans that have been put forward demonstrate that you do not have to do that. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Basically eliminate Medicare and turn it into a voucher system. If you're willing. Two. On the other side. Make some compromises. On the principle that everyone ought to pay their fair share that we need revenue to be part of the package. When we address our fiscal challenges it. It it never it's a complete inside baseball inside the beltway conversation but I am constantly amazed. The willingness. Republicans -- in one breath will say absolutely no revenue. Absolutely no defense cuts -- -- I want defense increases but I love this and symbols. And you know as you know what's in the Simpson Bowles plan that they don't know what they're talking. Maybe -- haven't read it. Maybe it deliberately. You know with their fingers in there Ayers when the reports on -- But the Simpson -- plan has more tax revenue than what president called for has far deeper defense cuts than what president called. But it has similar discretionary cuts -- the president has already signed into law and plan. So you know there has to be and -- talent -- and -- -- patients but there has to be some. He can't blindly say is governor -- had Lindsey Graham and others you know. My plan says Romney Izturis and dollars and symbols -- thinkers Campbell made clear that that's laughable. It's simply not because if you stand up onstage Wednesday. I won't ask the wealthiest I won't ask for one dollar revenue for another every ten dollars in spending. It you don't normally a time when you say you. Your plan is very similar distance and yet the president whenever it's. The president has put forward in his budget proposal additional savings in health care. Programs. Not through. -- you know not by cuts in. Benefits but by. -- savings from providers and insurance companies which is with the kinds of savings he achieved in -- care act. But but. And his. You know that the discussion about the kinds of further challenges we face -- our fiscal future but it is it does. -- four trillion dollars in deficit reduction that we need and it does. Achieve it in a balanced way that includes savings though it but it but -- she's in a balanced way that includes savings in Health Care Reform we savings and health care which. By the way demonstrates. The approach he took during deficit reduction talks in the debt -- Which was one of a willingness to compromise -- make tough choices. Sometimes against the wishes. Some of his fellow Democrats because he knew that in order to achieve this you need to do it but personally you need to reach -- compromise but instead. -- was an absolute refusal to accept the notion that we needed revenue. And there was you know a role played in. The failure of those discussions. The failures and symbols in the failure of the grand bargain talks. You know by guys now. Running for vice president -- The vice president's intention was clear. What he was talking about is -- Well. -- -- was -- not you know I thought personally. I think when you use the word chains. With -- -- African Americans you better be careful what you're talking vice president. At a later than. Make clear that you know -- his word choice was off that he had been using similar phrases yes and Malia. Saying similar things with slightly different -- but. That the purpose of that section of his comments was to talk about the absolute need to ensure the Wall Street reform is not repealed. And you know that that's not like. That this is not what the campaigns about the campaign is about do we repeal Wall Street reform -- we continue to implement. Do we. Turn Medicare into a voucher system. Or do we ensure that we take steps to strengthen and preserve it for -- -- do we. Past five trillion dollars in tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy. Think about the size five trillion -- -- hundred billion dollars a year that's real money and do we do that -- Doing incredible damage to our deficits. Devastating. Investments in education innovation research and development. Infrastructure spending roads bridges highways schools. Where do we take a balanced approach to our fiscal challenges -- in addition to. The substantial spending cuts the president signed into law. The suspense substantial savings he has put forward in his budget proposal we ask. Millionaires and billionaires to pay a little bit more to go back to when it comes the -- bush tax cuts the top marginal rate that was in place. When Bill Clinton was president. And you know I never cease to marvel at the rhetoric about. The -- to doom and gloom that that Republicans promise if it's if this if this rate was reinstated. Because it's eerily similar to the doom -- that they -- would occur in this country. The first time around when when the Clinton budget passed in the spring of 1993. And what we saw instead was the opposite of what was. Predicted and promised by Republican leaders including the current speaker of house. We saw record economic growth record expansion and record job creation.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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