"Face the Nation" transcripts, September 9, 2012: Obama, Ryan, Plouffe


(CBS News) Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on September 9, 2012, hosted by CBS News' Norah O'Donnell. Guests include: President Barack Obama, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Obama campaign strategist David Plouffe.

O'DONNELL: Today on Face the Nation, with just two months left until Election Day, the sprint to the finish is on.

The conventions are over and all four candidates are back out on a campaign trail. Scott Kelly sat down with the president yesterday in Florida.


OBAMA: Governor Romney said he wouldn't take a deal with $10 of spending cuts for $1 of -- of revenue increases. And the problem is, the math or the arithmetic, as President Clinton said, doesn't add up.


O'DONNELL: We'll have some of that interview.

And then we'll talk with Republican Vice Presidential hopeful, Paul Ryan and see what he has to say about that and the president's ability to work with Republicans.


RYAN: Well, I have been more than happy to work with him, but he hasn't been acting on it. You know, what we've learned in his presidency, he says one thing and does another.


O'DONNELL: We'll also talk to White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe.

Plus, we'll have a preview of Scott Kelly's 60 Minutes interview with one of the Navy Seals who shot Osama Bin Laden. Then we'll get analog from that and more from David Sanger of the New York Times, Vanity Fair's Dee Dee Myers, Washington Post's Michael Gerson and CBS News Political Director, John Dickerson.

It's all ahead because this is Face the Nation.

ANNOUNCER: And now from CBS News in Washington, Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer. Substituting for Bob Schieffer, Co-Host of CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell.

O'DONNELL: Good morning and welcome to Face the Nation, Bob is off today.

But we're joined by Scott Pelley, who is back in New York after a trip to St. Petersburg, Florida, to sit down with President Obama.

Scott, what did the president have to say?

SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Norah, great to be with you this morning. The president and Mr. Romney have so many campaign stops in Florida and Ohio, it almost looks like they're running for governor. But we caught up with the president in St. Petersburg, as you said, and one of the things we wanted to ask him about -- excuse me -- is how things would change in a second Obama term. We pointed out to the president, of course, that if he is reelected, it's very likely that John Boehner will still be the Speaker of the House and Paul Ryan will still be the Chairman of the Budget Committee.

So I wanted to know from the president how they would try to achieve a grand bargain on the budget with all of the players remaining the same. Here's a little bit of what the president had to say.


PELLEY: If you win, would you be willing to compromise? What are you will to give in order to complete this grand bargain on the budget that have failed?

OBAMA: Well, I -- keep in mind that the trillion dollars that cut, it was a painful exercise. You know, there are some programs that are worthy but we just can't afford right now. And I'm willing to do more on that front, because as I argued at the convention, those of us who believe that government can be a force for good when it comes to creating opportunity for folks who are willing to work hard and play by the rules to get into the middle class.

We have an obligation to make sure government works and there's still waste there. There's still programs that don't work. There are still ways that we can make it leaner and more efficient. So I'm, you know, more than happy to work with the Republicans.

And what I've said is in reducing our deficits, we can make sure that we cut $2.50 for every $1 of increased revenue.

PELLEY: That's the deal they turned down, Mr. President.

OBAMA: And that -- well and, you know, that's part of what this election's about.

Governor Romney said he wouldn't take a deal with $10 of spending cuts for $1 of revenue increases.

And the problem is the math, or the arithmetic, as President Clinton said, doesn't add up. You can't reduce the deficit unless you take a balanced approach that says we've got to make government leaner and more efficient, but we've also got to ask people like me or Governor Romney who have done better than anybody else over the course of the last decade and who's taxes are just about lower than they've been in the last 50 years to do a little bit more.

And if we go back to the tax rates for folks making more than $250,000 a year, back to the rates that we had under Bill Clinton, we can close the deficit, stabilize the economy, keep taxes on middle class families low, provide the certainty that I think all of us will be looking for and I'm also going, by the way, to make some adjustments to Medicare and Medicaid that would strengthen the programs. But the way to do that is to keep health care costs low. It's not to voucherize programs so that suddenly seniors are the ones who are finding their expenses much higher.