'This Week' Transcript: David Axelrod

KARL: Yeah, and it's problematic. I mean, they know it's problematic. I mean, you know, the president supported the Wall Street bailout in the first place. This is the administration of Tim Geithner. This is the administration that's been hammered by the left, by many of the people at those protests, as being basically a tool of Wall Street.

AMANPOUR: Let's go back and talk about Rick Perry some more. There have been, again, this sort of rather disappointing debate performance this week. There were these comments from his wife. She said that they've been brutalized partly because of his Christian faith. Do they -- do they have the fight to go on? There are questions as to whether he really wants to be president, given his demeanor at the table.

MATALIN: Dave Carney, who's running the Perry campaign, who's the Joe Friday of talkers, had two poignant but critical points in this Dan Balz piece today, Dan Balz...

AMANPOUR: Washington Post.

MATALIN: ... covering this stuff since Jesus was a little boy, so he knows of what he speaks. Message trumps chatter. Message is more important than chatter. And these polls are Polaroids. And that's -- that's what they're acting on, that all of this chatter, all of these suggestions or implications about Perry's debate performance playing them out into a bigger -- bigger finding, doesn't -- it doesn't hold.

Over 70 percent of voters did not make up their minds in Iowa, New Hampshire until the final month. We're not even into that phase where you start putting boots on the ground.

AMANPOUR: So what does Governor Perry have do to get back into the game?

WILL: He has to get a little better at debating. He's had as many important debates in his two months as a presidential candidate than he had in 13 years in Texas politics. Texas is such a red state that you win down there by rallying conservatives. You don't have to persuade. He's now in the persuasion business, and that takes some getting used to.

They do have money. They do have some infrastructure. And nature and the American media abhor a vacuum. And they will not allow there to be a stroll for Romney to the...

AMANPOUR: Well, you mention money and not allowing a stroll. Let's just put up this -- this latest ad that Governor Perry has out about Romney.


OBAMA: I agree with Mitt Romney. He's right.

(UNKNOWN): Jimmy Carter is throwing his weight behind Mitt Romney.

(UNKNOWN): ... follow the path that we pursued or find it's the best path.

ROMNEY: I like mandates.

(UNKNOWN): Why, if it's worked for Massachusetts and it's working in Massachusetts, wouldn't you apply it to the rest of the country?

ROMNEY: I would.

(UNKNOWN): Romney has flip-flopped on some of the issues.

ROMNEY: I didn't change my mind. I'm running for a different office.

We'll end up with a nation that's taken a mandate approach.

There are a lot of reasons not to elect me.


KARL: You know, by the way, that video totally misrepresents what was said in that interview between -- you know, with Tim Russert. I mean, they gave a different -- the Romney answer is from a different question. It is complete misrepresentation of what happened.

But it shows that Perry will go after Romney, he will do everything he can to destroy Romney. He is a very effective negative campaigner. But the problem for Perry so far is that he has done nothing to define himself and what he would stand for.

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