'This Week' Transcript: Jon Huntsman, David Axelrod

BLITZER: And on this day, she happens to be in Iowa.

(UNKNOWN): Another leg of her "One Nation" bus tour.

TAPPER: Grabbing the attention of Iowans and, yes, the media.


TAPPER: Den mother of the mama grizzlies, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin with a slick new video. She's acting more and more like a candidate each day. She told me last week in Iowa she'll make her final decision in the next month.

Joining me now on our political roundtable, George Will, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, Republican pollster Frank Luntz, and New York Times political correspondent Jeff Zeleny.

Thanks, everyone, for being here. George, I'll start with you. In today's column in the Washington Post, you talk about Governor Chris Christie. Is there an opening for a Governor Christie, for a Governor Palin in this race?

WILL: There's still time and room on the political spectrum for people to get in, but my conviction is, after spending some time with Mr. Christie recently, is that he has no intention of running. He has four children. He's a happy father. He's enjoying being governor of New Jersey. And I think he doubts, probably reasonably, whether the tone of voice that has made him such a figure is a national, presidential tone of voice.

TAPPER: Donna, which Republican do you see -- as a supporter of the president's, who would you least like to be the Republican nominee? Who would pose the strongest challenge for President Obama?

BRAZILE: Well, you know, I think about that question all the time, because I believe, given the uncertainty on the Republican side, Democrats should not go to bed at night thinking that, you know, Michele Bachmann, yay, or Rick Perry, yay.

The truth of the matter is, is that the president is going to have to really fight hard to get the economy moving again, to mobilize his base and to get them out in record numbers, you know, to have a very compelling message that will unify the country.

And if he can do all three and raise a lot of money, then I think Democrats will be able to rest easily, once Republicans decide on their candidate. Right now, the Republicans are behaving as if they're running to be president of the Tea Party, not president of the United States of America.

TAPPER: Jeff, you were in Iowa for three days covering Rick Perry, from Waterloo to Dubuque. How did voters respond to him in the hinterlands, in the heartland of America?

ZELENY: I think voters responded pretty well, in one respect, because they're looking for someone new, and they like the energy he brought in. They like the leadership qualities. You heard that again and again in interviews. He looks like a leader.

But I think they also saw that Rick Perry's biggest challenge may be Rick Perry himself. He was free-wheeling. He was unscripted. But that got him into trouble, really, in the first day of his campaign.

So a lot of establishment, Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Republicans are a little bit worried about his -- his swagger. You know, a lot of enthusiastic, hard-core Republicans think it's fine for now, but when it comes time to pick a president, I'm not sure that he will be as strong as he looks right now.

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