EXCLUSIVE: Plouffe and Rove Battle It Out Over Health Care Reform

With a vote on health care reform looming in the House of Representatives, it was a no-holds barred debate this morning on "This Week."

"We are going to be much better positioned politically…if we pass this," David Plouffe, who managed Barack Obama’s campaign, told ABC’s Jon Karl this morning on "This Week." "We had 15 million new voters vote in the 2008 election. These were people who were cynical that their vote really mattered. If we don’t pass health care, I think that sends a very depressing message,” Plouffe said. But, Plouffe insisted, if the bill passes “it’s going to be a very powerful message to them that the vote mattered and they ought to stay involved in politics.”

"We will see if they pass this bill," Karl Rove, who was “the Architect” behind George W. Bush’s two successful Presidential elections, said. “I hope they don’t. I pray they don’t. It will be an economic disaster for the country if they do.” Rove said that the health care bill used “Bernie Madoff-style accounting” and was an “gigantic disaster.”

“Karl and the Republicans would be familiar with that,” Plouffe retorted. “Under their leadership, they took us from big budget surpluses to a $1.3 trillion deficit,” he said.

Rove hit back: “Look, you have run up more deficit, before this bill, in the first 20 months and 11 days of your term in office then was done in the entire Bush years!”

“Don’t be lecturing us about what you’re doing with the profligate spending that started last year with the failed stimulus bill,” Rove said, “and continued with your budget increases.”

“You will bankrupt the country, if this bill passes!” Rove insisted.

Plouffe responded with another jab: “Karl and the Republicans have zero credibility – about as much credibility as the country of Greece does to talk about fiscal responsibility.”

Rove, brandishing a white board with health care cost figures, interrupted: “For God’s sake, will you stop throwing around epithets and deal with the facts, for once David!”

Plouffe, rolling his eyes, responded: “Let’s put the fanciful chart away…”

Before he could finish, Rove interrupted: “It is not a fanciful chart, deal with the chart!”

Plouffe said Democrats were helping to get the country back on track and address big issues like health care and that “the Republican party, for the most part, is not lifting an oar to help row us…” Plouffe said.

“That’s bunk!” Rove interjected. “Republicans have offered a positive alternative on health care and you didn’t bother to have one meeting between March 5 of 2009 and February 25 of 2010 to discuss how the White House could involve some of those Republican ideas in the bill. Don’t give us that bunk,” Rove said.

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