'This Week' Transcript: Jon Huntsman, David Axelrod

BRAZILE: That's correct. Well, some of us are not, you know, so young. But -- I know you're young, George, but I had to tell my age today.

But the truth is, is that Rick Perry is a good campaigner. He understands how to connect with real people. He's very folksy. He's down to earth. But Rick Perry's problem is that the country is also looking for a unifier. They're not looking for another divider, another person who will just spend all of his time, you know, criticizing President Obama, criticizing Washington, D.C., criticizing the federal government, the size of the federal government, that he benefited from. That's another conversation about Rick Perry.

But the truth is, is that Rick Perry first has to deal with the voters in New Hampshire. As you know, 45 percent of the primary voters are Republicans, 25 percent are independents, and another 10 percent may be Democrats. So if Rick Perry can appeal to those independents, those swing voters, he might have a real shot at not just winning the Republican nomination, but the presidency.

But, remember, President Obama is still one talented political leader who I don't believe should be discounted at this hour.

TAPPER: Sure. And we're a long way away from -- from Election Day. But, Jeff, one of the things that seemed interesting to me -- and you were there, so please share -- is Perry seemed to really go hot and cold. One day he'd just be really hot, talking about Bernanke, talking about this or that, and the next day, his comments were much more measured. Why?

ZELENY: Well, I think because he got himself in a bit of hot water, early on at least. His advisers are trying to sort of keep him confined, at least in the beginning. But we saw his natural tendencies are to answer every question and are to sort give that sharp response that he's been used to giving in Texas.

But he's now running on a national stage, so he has to become a different kind of candidate. But you could see the -- you know, he was able to make that conversion really quickly and really well. He can play to all kinds of audiences.

He was doing a sit-down lunch with a dozen or so business leaders in Dubuque. He's able to hold that Chamber of Commerce crowd just fine. He's also able to give, you know, the sermon on Sunday. I think he is able to sort of do what some Republicans have worried Michele Bachmann could not do, is have executive experience.

So I think his first week was actually more impressive than not. You know, and the comments he made has gotten a lot of attention to himself, and that is just fine for now in the Republican primary. I think he's able to be a chameleon, if you will, in a positive way and able to sort of do all things to all people. But we'll see how he grows.

And New Hampshire, he'll have to do OK there, but he could go Iowa to South Carolina. All roads do not necessarily have to go through New Hampshire. And I think that's one thing in the back of his mind.

TAPPER: But, Frank, Karl Rove has said that he thinks Sarah Palin is going to run. Do you think Sarah Palin is going to run?

LUNTZ: I don't how she can. Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin operate in the exact same space. They have similar personalities. They attract similar voters. There's no space for her right now. There's a space for Chris Christie, if he decided to do it, or for Paul Ryan, but I don't see for Sarah Palin.

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