'This Week' Transcript: Robert Gibbs and Kevin Madden

Robert Gibbs and Kevin Madden are interviewed on 'This Week.'

ByABC News
July 26, 2012, 5:24 PM


DOWD (voice-over): Good morning, and welcome to "This Week." A hundred days to go, and both candidates are on the defensive.

ROMNEY: There were a few things that were disconcerting.

DOWD: Governor Romney offends U.S. allies overseas.

JOHNSON: There's a guy called Mitt Romney. He wants to know whether we're -- whether we're ready. Are we ready?

DOWD: While here at home, President Obama struggles to clarify his comments about private business.

OBAMA: You got a business, that -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

ROMNEY: Just read the whole speech. The context is worse than the quote.

DOWD: Will the skirmishes have a lasting impact on the race? Are they just a distraction from the real issues? We'll ask our exclusive headliners, top advisers for both candidates, Robert Gibbs for Obama, Kevin Madden for Romney.

And our powerhouse roundtable, with George Will, Donna Brazile, Dana Loesch, David Chalian, and Ruth Marcus. Plus...

KARL: I'm Jonathan Karl outside Dick Cheney's home in Wyoming. We have just had the first interview with the former vice president since his heart transplant.

DOWD: And ABC News is at the Olympics, the very latest from London.

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


DOWD: Good morning, everyone. George Stephanopoulos has a well-deserved morning off.

As you just heard, it's been a rough week for both candidates, so let's get right to it with their senior advisers, Robert Gibbs with President Obama, Kevin Madden with Mitt Romney.

Welcome to both of you, and thanks for taking the time on this Sunday.

MADDEN: Thank you.

GIBBS: Thanks for having us.

DOWD: Well, I have a critical question first for two senior advisers. Who are the junior advisers?


GIBBS: I've tried to get that title before, and nobody will give it to me.

DOWD: It doesn't bear any responsibility, but...

MADDEN: I make my own coffee, so...

DOWD: I've always wondered. I haven't met one. I want to start with -- we're 100 days out, key point in the race, dead-even race. I took a look at the Gallup polls this morning. It's dead even as of this morning. Robert, what's going to break this race out? Or is this going to stay this way until the end?

GIBBS: I think this is going to be a very close race throughout it. That's what we've prepared for. That's what we're -- why we're investing in a grassroots army to win this race on Election Day.

I think what's going to break this race out ultimately is the choice between two candidates and two extremely different visions about how we build this economy and how we come out of the economic disaster that we were in and how we recover. And I think, whether or not -- you're going to have that choice of whether Barack Obama, who wants to invest in education, invest in entrepreneurs, cut taxes on small businesses, and build our economy here, or somebody in Governor Romney, whose expertise, quiet frankly, is in outsourcing and offshoring.

DOWD: Well, Kevin, I'm sure you're going to disagree with part of that.


DOWD: But, first, do you think this race basically -- it's dead-even now, we have 100 days left -- do you think that's where it basically stays until Election Day? Or do you think there's opportunities for the governor to break out of this?