'This Week' Transcript: House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi are interviewed.

ByABC News
May 19, 2012, 5:32 PM


STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."

The gloves come off, as the House speaker draws a line in the sand on the debt limit.

BOEHNER: I told the president, we're not doing those things that way anymore.

GEITHNER: Political politicians threatening to default, it's deeply irresponsible.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And on the campaign trail with Bain Capital.

(UNKNOWN): We view Mitt Romney as a job destroyer.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Obama's economy.

ROMNEY: A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across the nation.

BIDEN: They don't get us. They don't get who we are.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Reverend Wright all in play.

ROMNEY: Obviously that's something I repudiate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Topics for our exclusive headliners, the two most powerful members of the House, Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Then, the Facebook IPO and the founder who renounced his citizenship. That and all the week's politics on our powerhouse roundtable, with George Will, Donna Brazile, Matthew Dowd, plus, Laura Ingraham of Fox News and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom of Current TV.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos. It's your voice, your vote. Reporting from the Newseum in Washington, D.C., George Stephanopoulos.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again. President Obama and his fellow G-8 leaders left Camp David last night for a NATO summit in Chicago after agreeing to do all they can to get our economies growing stronger with good jobs, but there was more evidence this week that we do not have any consensus on how to do that here in Washington, where the parties are still far apart on how to handle the budgets, jobs, and our national debt.

Speaker Boehner laid down the gauntlet on Tuesday.


BOEHNER: When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And the president's team fired right back.


BROWN: The debt limit question has bubbled up. Do you see...

GEITHNER: Do you believe it?

BROWN: Can you believe it?

GEITHNER: I can't. I can't. I don't understand it.

BROWN: You can't? Because?

GEITHNER: I don't understand it.


STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll dig into this debate and all the week's political news on our roundtable, but first, my exclusive interviews from the Capitol. I began by asking the speaker to explain why he wants another showdown on the debt limit.


BOEHNER: George, the American people are still asking the question, where are the jobs? And dealing with our deficit and our debt would help create more economic growth in the United States, and it would lift this cloud of uncertainty that's causing employers to wonder, "What's next?" So dealing with our debt and our deficit are critically important.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But doesn't this -- this threat to hold the debt limit up if you don't get the spending cuts actually create more uncertainty over the next several months?

BOEHNER: No, George, the issue is the debt. You know, people aren't clamoring to invest in Greece today. And if we don't begin to deal with our debt and our deficit in an -- in an honest and serious way, we're not going to have many options. Listen, I'm not going to apologize for leading. The real issue here is, will the president lead?