'This Week' Transcript: Obama Senior Adviser David Plouffe

And so I think one of the lessons from the first term that we want to do better is, yes, there has to be an inside game. There also has to be an outside game. It's not either/or. And you put those things together, because it -- as you know, times that you really get fundamental progress and change in Washington is where the American people are really focused and pushing, and we want to make sure that we're in communication with them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I know you'll be advising Organizing for Action, but this is your last week at the White House. What do you miss most?

PLOUFFE: Well, it's just a privilege, as you know, to work in that building. And you get a PhD in a short matter of time on every issue facing the country. And it's just an awesome honor to spend a little time there.

And I think for me personally this has been a remarkable journey. Six years ago today, we were the longest of long shots running for president. Now tomorrow he'll be giving a second inaugural address. And so I'll miss -- you know, this is a great moment where those of us who always wanted to work in a campaign like this, with grassroots energy, for a candidate like this, with amazing colleagues.

So it's been a remarkable journey. But what I'll miss most is just, you know, the president each and every day, you know, the integrity he brings to decision-making, the focus he has, the vision he has, and that's why this second term -- I'll tell you, you know, in my remaining days, you know, he's made it clear, there's going to be no let-up. He's going to push as hard as he can in a second term to continue to move the country forward, building this progress, and I think that -- as I said, the issues are stacked up. And now we've just got to go get them done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're going to work hard, but savor that moment tomorrow?

PLOUFFE: Absolutely. Really soak it in.

STEPHANOPOULOS: David Plouffe, thank you so much. Take care.

Our powerhouse roundtable is coming right up with their take on the second term. Plus, inauguration co-chair Eva Longoria joins us live. "This Week" at the inauguration will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): Are the president's kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools?

CHRISTIE: To talk about the president's children or any public officer's children I think is reprehensible.

OBAMA: I started getting a lot of letters from kids.

LIMBAUGH: I've been watching the "children as human shields" show that is now going on at the -- at the White House. It's stunning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: The gun debate already hot and heavy this week before the second term even begins. Let's talk about that right now on our roundtable. I'm joined by George Will, as always, Cokie Roberts, Rick Santorum, former Republican presidential candidate and senator, now the head of Patriot Voices, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, thanks for joining us, and Matthew Dowd.

And, George, we do have so much to get to today, but let's begin with this debate that has been joined that wasn't even on the agenda a couple of months ago, the president saying he's going to do everything he can to pass these gun proposals, but even David Plouffe signaling there they're pretty realistic about what they can achieve.

WILL: Well, are they? A durable myth of the Obama presidency, to which Mr. Obama subscribes, is that he's tremendously persuasive. I don't think his advocacy of Obamacare and the health care bill supports that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It did pass.

WILL: It did pass, with chicanery and reconciliation and lots of other things, but he did not move the country, which is what he's trying to do with the NRA. Obama's approval rating at this point is 52 percent; the NRA's approval rating is 54 percent. Since...

ROBERTS: Republicans in Congress is 17 percent.

WILL: Since gun control came back to the top of the agenda, the NRA has acquired 250,000 new members. So we're going to find out. You saw, by putting up the statements from some of the Democratic senators, that there's a resistance in the Democratic caucus, because they have six seats up next time in states...

STEPHANOPOULOS: All of those senators I showed, yeah.

WILL: ... in states where Mr. Obama got less than 42 percent of the vote. The Republicans need to control the Senate six seats.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So how hard does he push this, Cokie?

ROBERTS: I think he pushes parts of it. The assault weapons ban is obviously a huge problem, and that's what most people are pushing back against, although it is interesting, with the increased number of women in Congress, that it might have a better shot. In 1994, 29 percent of Republican men voted for the assault weapons ban and almost 70 percent of Republican women. So you could see a difference because of that.

But I think that background checks, waiting period, you know, the biggest gun violence is suicide. And to put in a waiting period could help with suicide.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Rick, how do you think...

ROBERTS: So I think you could start to see some movement on those aspects.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you think Republicans should play this?

SANTORUM: Oh, I think we should stick to our guns. And, you know, George reminded me of something I said to him back in '94 when I ran for the Senate in Pennsylvania. He said, how am I going to win? And I said, "Guns."

I don't think -- I think it's an even more important issue for people today, given the increasing level of violence in our society, people feel unsafe. And having a gun and gun ownership is part of how people can feel safer.

And when you look at the -- in my opinion, the disingenuousness of the administration, they met with the NRA. As you know, Joe Biden did. And the NRA brought up the fact that prosecutions for gun crimes and prosecutions for people who fill out -- who lie on their registration forms or gun forms are down under this administration. The vice president responded, we don't have time to devote to seeing whether people fill out a form right.

Well, wait a minute. They're asking for more forms and they're saying they don't have the time to fill out -- to check what -- what is -- is -- are they serious about this? Or is this just about politics?

GRANHOLM: Well, first of all, let's be clear about why there has been fewer enforcements. And the head of the -- the head of the ATF has been -- there's been a failure to confirm because the NRA has been objecting. The NRA has objected to reasonable, pragmatic solutions, and that's what this is all about.

This is not about taking people's guns away. It's about a narrow set of proposals that will enable us to help enforce the existing gun laws, the ban on assault weapons, and a ban on high-capacity magazines, and even a ban on armor-piercing bullets are overwhelmingly supported by the citizenry.

ROBERTS: Right.

GRANHOLM: Fifty percent of men, fifty-seven -- fifty-nine percent of women support an assault ban, assault weapons ban, same number for a ban on high-capacity magazines. I think the president views this -- he is really -- he sees himself as the protector-in-chief, and that's true on foreign policy and it's true on domestic policy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And he clearly -- he clearly does seem to have been personally affected deeply, Matthew Dowd...

GRANHOLM: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... by the Newtown tragedy. But how much -- if you were advising him right now, how much should he invest in this at the beginning of what is a packed second term?

DOWD: Well, he definitely was affected by it, as every American was affected by what awful -- what happened in that awful situation. I mean, the president could have done a lot of this in the last four years, which he chose not to do. He could have done a bunch of things on executive orders and executive decisions that he chose not to because he understood the political problem with this.

To me, this whole issue -- and I live in Austin, Texas, and Texas is a place where people love their guns. I have five -- owned five guns. Most people know something has to be done. Most people know there has to be something done. How far does it extend, is a question of debate. Something will get passed.

(CROSSTALK)

DOWD: Before that -- before that, my fear is, the real thing that won't get done is what the real issue on this is...

ROBERTS: Mental health. Mental health.

DOWD: ... which is mental health.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: And that is -- that is huge. It's huge. I mean, the way we treat mental health in this country is in jail. That's it. We have no mental health treatment. And it is -- it is shocking. And it was, you know, liberal good intentions of de-institutionalization, sending people out into a community where there was nobody to take care of them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, the president has decided, George, that he's going to invest -- he's called for investing up to $100 million in this Project AWARE. He's going to -- wants to have -- help teachers, school officials identify people who might have mental health problems and be prepared to turn them in.

WILL: The last bill Jack Kennedy signed before flying to Dallas where he was murdered was the de-institutionalization bill that closed a lot of asylums and sent people into the society where we did not provide the community health centers.

Second point, the vast majority of people involved in gun violence are clinically sane.

Third point, defining an assault weapon is hard enough. Try and define mental health. And try and do so without -- with respecting the privacy concerns with doctor and patient relationships.

Rick referred to the feeling of increased violence in the country. It's not true, though. You may feel that way, but there's been a stunning drop in gun violence and murders, cut it in half, really, in 20 years.

ROBERTS: Except for the suicides. And we had more troops commit suicide in Afghanistan last year than were killed in combat. That happened with guns.

DOWD: And the other thing is, is there's been an increase in mass -- these mass shootings, all of which are related to a combination of a gun, a high-velocity gun with large magazines...

ROBERTS: And the magazines.

DOWD: ... and somebody that was mentally ill. And part of the system, and which I give the president credit for, is that there wasn't an ability of people in hospitals and people in institutions to ask somebody that came in...

ROBERTS: Right.

DOWD: ... ill health, mentally ill, and ask them if there was guns in -- in their home, to even ask that question.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: Because the NRA cut that out of the questions.

GRANHOLM: Right. Right.

WILL: The shooter in Aurora, Colorado, had passed two background checks. The shooter at Virginia Tech had passed two background checks. So the idea that there's a panacea out there is just...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's not a panacea, but what about the president's argument that if it can stop even one of these horrific shootings, it's worth a try?

SANTORUM: Well, how many people are you going to deny guns who are going to protect themselves? I mean, there are more people who protect themselves and -- and -- and stop violence having -- being occurred -- having happen to them with the ownership of a gun than it is people who commit crimes with a gun. So this idea that the problem is gun control...

ROBERTS: Senator, what about the magazines? Why -- what have a magazine that can riddle a 6-year-old into -- into shreds?

SANTORUM: Here's what I would say about that. Fifty years ago, you could go on a catalog and buy a gun. There were no restrictions on gun ownership. There were no restrictions on magazines. There were no restrictions on anything. And we had a lot less violence in society than we do today.

The idea of pointing to the gun instead of pointing to society -- and no -- not one thing the president did dealt with Hollywood and gun violence and video games and -- and all of the glorification of violence.

GRANHOLM: But why do you need to protect armor-piercing bullets? Why do you need that?

SANTORUM: Why do we need to protect Hollywood putting films in front of us...

GRANHOLM: No, no, but I'm not talking about that.

SANTORUM: ... that glorify -- but I am.

GRANHOLM: I'm asking you specifically.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: One at a time.

SANTORUM: You are, too.

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM: Why not armor-piercing bullets? Why do you need that?

SANTORUM: Because -- because we're talking about a particular type of bullet that -- that is -- is and can be available to...

GRANHOLM: Deer don't wear armor. Why do you need an armor-piercing bullet?

SANTORUM: But criminals could. And having -- having...

GRANHOLM: And police officers certainly do.

SANTORUM: ... the ability to defend -- having the ability to defend yourself is something that is a right in our country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's going to have to be the last word right now. We have to take a quick break. Lots more roundtable ahead.

Can President Obama avoid the second term curse? What to make of the GOP's tactical treat on the debt limit? And everyone is going to weigh in on that confession from Lance Armstrong. Plus, our favorite "Desperate Housewife" is co-chairing the inauguration. Eva Longoria joins us live, only on "This Week."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROOSEVELT: We know that we must find practical control over blind economic forces and blindly selfish men.

EISENHOWER: We have been warned by the power of modern weapons that peace may be the only climate possible for human life itself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: FDR in 1937, Ike in 1957. We're told that President Obama studying both those inaugural addresses as he prepares for his own.

Let's talk about that on our roundtable. Let me bring you in, George Will. I guess you could say the president -- one of the reasons he might be reaching back into history is that you look -- if you look at recent second inaugurals, not all that memorable, and recent second terms, not great records.

WILL: I would guess he would reach back not to '57, but to '37, to FDR's very combative speech. In March 4th, when we inaugurated back then, 1801, Thomas Jefferson gave a speech saying we are all Republicans, we are all Federalists, we're all of one common principle.

Well, I don't expect to hear that from this president, because he is combative and he does feel at the wheel of the world. The 1800 election may have been the most important election in world history, because it was the first time power had been peacefully transferred after an election and this great healing moment. I think this president feels the way Roosevelt did in '37.

ROBERTS: Well, of course, nobody believed Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams snuck out of town ahead of time because he didn't want to be there to witness his -- his defeater making that speech. So it wasn't exactly a halcyon time.

But second -- second terms have been -- have been rough. If I were Obama, I wouldn't be paying attention to either of those speeches. I would be paying attention to the man on whose holiday this inauguration falls.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Martin Luther King.

ROBERTS: Martin Luther King, because that is really what can make Obama stand out. It was what made people excited about him in the first inauguration, was this moment in history. It's yet another moment in history. And it comes on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, just...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And it's interesting, he's going to be taking the oath on Lincoln's bible and Martin Luther King's bible.

(CROSSTALK)

DOWD: If I were him, I would pay attention to one of the best inaugural speeches at the time, which is, I think, not exactly the same, but most similar was 1865 in...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: The Lincoln's second term.

DOWD: Lincoln's speech used the word "I" one time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's setting the bar very high.

(LAUGHTER)

DOWD: But I think that we are at probably in this country in one of the most divisive, polarized times we've had since the Civil War. And in that speech, Lincoln talked about we both pray to the same God, malice towards none, charity for all, all of that, and I think this president should -- which I don't think he will do -- should come with a sense of humbleness, a sense of humility, and a sense that basically the biggest problem he has in this country is the divisions that exist in this country that have only been made worse in the course of his presidency, age divisions, sex divisions, church divisions. All the divisions that exist in this country, he has to figure out a way to bring people together and solve some of the problems.

ROBERTS: Which is why I think King is a good example, because he takes that and talks about inclusion.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's -- that's all well and good, as long as you're talking about the broad values and...

ROBERTS: But that's what an inaugural is. I mean, the State of the Union is the policy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What are you expecting to hear?

SANTORUM: Oh, I think you'll hear more of the same. I think you're right, George, it'll be more '37 than 1860. This is a president who very clearly since the election has decided he won and he's going to drive it and he's not interested in compromise.

I don't know. I don't think this speech, frankly, matters that much. I think what matters is what the president pushes. And from what I hear, it's going to be guns, it's going to be climate change, both of which are nonstarters up on Capitol Hill, and he knows it, instead of -- you want to see if the president really wants to make a difference? He'll lead with immigration, because there's not a single Republican up on Capitol Hill who believes he wants to get it done. They all believe he wants that -- he will put -- he will -- he will put a measure that the Republicans can't accept and then blame Republicans and then continue to drive a wedge between Republicans and Hispanics.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: And if he changes that -- if he changes that and he says, no, I'm willing to actually work together and get something that we can all agree on, he will change the tone on Capitol Hill. Don't expect it, but that's what he needs to do.

GRANHOLM: If -- if Republicans think that he has said that he doesn't want to work on immigration, they have not been listening. The division in this country is right in Capitol Hill. The division in this country was brought together by the president, who has formed these unbelievable coalitions of people, which is exactly what he's going to carry forward with this Organizing for Action.

And I think his inaugural address is going to speak to that unity. He's not going to be speaking to a Congress that has an approval rating less than cockroaches and lice, according to a poll last week, but he is going to speak to -- to the humanity out there who want to see action happen. And he is going to remind people, I think, that we are all in this together, and that is his strength, he's not from inside of Washington, but from outside.

DOWD: Well, the problem I think the president's had -- I hope he does that. The problem he has had is he ran a campaign in 2008, and many of us had this great hope, and people (inaudible) he was going to bring the country together, he's going to change Washington, he's going to do all that. And in the course of his presidency, we all want him to succeed because if he succeeds the country succeeds, it's only gotten worse. And he has said the words...

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM: ... because of the "no, no, no" caucus, the obstructionists.

(CROSSTALK)

DOWD: But the only person responsible -- he is responsible to himself. And I don't think -- he hasn't held dinners. He hasn't held dinners with congressmen. He's avoided meetings with congressmen. He hasn't used the social power of the presidency...

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: He demonizes Congress on a regular basis.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: Well, he claims -- well, he claims that they've avoided meetings with him, as well, he said in his last press conference. But the truth is, we are dealing with a systemic problem in Congress, as you well know, which is, you know, we used -- and we had 105 swing districts a few years ago. This election, we had 35. So people are absolutely dug in to their positions, and it is very, very difficult to get anybody to move.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Given that reality, George Will, what could the president do, if he wanted to, to kind of bridge those divides?

WILL: Well, it's fairly easy. These are splittable differences on whether or not -- how and whether we're going to pay for the welfare state. You've heard me before, George, I say it again. I disagree with all four of you. I don't think dissent and division is what characterizes this town. It's a vast, deep consensus that we're going to have a large, generous welfare state and not pay for it. Everyone's agreed on that. And until the arithmetic forces us to change on that, we're going to -- these other issues are small potatoes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, you know, Rick Santorum, House Republicans certainly seem to feel some of the pressure on those issues this week. They announced at the end of the week that they're not going to hold up this debt limit, seek a three-month extension on the debt limit to give some breathing space for negotiations. You know, you heard David Plouffe right there say that is a cave by House Republicans.

SANTORUM: I mean, listen to that language. I mean, Republicans extend an olive branch. "Ah, they're caving. Ah, we got them." That's not how a leader acts. Governor didn't get things done in Michigan because every time she won she rubbed it in their nose. That's the problem with this administration. They don't -- they're not very gracious winners.

And I always said, you know, there's one thing worse than a sore loser, and that's a sore winner. And the president's a sore winner.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: ... Republicans understand that. And this president could get immigration done. He could get something done on deficits and entitlements, but he's got to move his people to do that, instead of forcing Republicans always to come his way. And that's the problem.

GRANHOLM: I just -- I mean, the reality from the lens on the left -- and, truly, if you ask people out there, I think they would agree is that when the House Republican caucus sent all those Tea Partiers that made it impossible for John Boehner to move, who were sent there for the purpose of not compromising, for the purpose of saying no, that made compromise virtually impossible. The president has indicated he's willing to compromise. He has angered his base. But on the right, that caucus is dragging the country down.

DOWD: Well, I'm going to agree with something that George said, which I think the fundamental problem is, is that nobody is willing to do anything about the fiscal mess. Nobody. Republicans aren't willing to do it and Democrats aren't willing to do it. They're both interested in blowing up the balance sheet. Republicans want to blow up the balance sheet because they're unwilling to raise taxes. They want to do it to keep taxes low. Democrats are willing to blow up the balance sheet because they want to continue government spending and increase the size of the government.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... just you've seen $1.5 trillion in spending cuts over the last year-and-a-half. You just saw $600 billion in new revenue. They have been taking steps.

DOWD: George -- George, if you take a look at what really was done is they dealt with the easiest 3 percent or 4 percent of the problem.

(CROSSTALK)

DOWD: ... first half-mile of a marathon race.

(CROSSTALK)

DOWD: And they want to celebrate at the half-mile mark when they got 25 miles to run.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: That's why what the Republicans just did was very smart, because, first of all, they took the debt limit and default and shutting down the government off the plate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: For a while.

ROBERTS: But they also said, we want -- because this is the one place where they are getting through to people -- we want the Senate to pass a budget. And -- and they are correct...

SANTORUM: Which they haven't in four years.

ROBERTS: ... that the Senate has not done that, because the Democrats don't want to say where they would cut. And -- and that is a smart political move to make.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And turn -- instead of fighting the president, they're fighting Democrats in the Senate.

WILL: That's right. And the two big occasions coming up are March 1st, which is when the sequester kicks in, and there are a large number of Republicans who have concluded that there will be no spending cuts other than by the sequester. So the question is...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Which is across-the-board cuts in both domestic and defense programs.

WILL: Half from defense, which is 17 percent of the budget. So the question is, do Republicans hate defense cuts less than they would like to see the spending cuts on the domestic side? My -- after that comes March 27th, which is when the current continuing resolution on -- that funds the government expires, so we're going to have real debates about real splittable differences.

DOWD: The other thing, George, that's going to happen -- and I think that this is going to begin the process of -- is -- is that every day that goes past the inauguration is a loss of power day for the president. And you have -- you basically now have a party, the Democratic Party, is going to function with him, but it's been a cult of personality. It's been fundamentally a cult of personality around the president. They're going to have to figure out where they go from here and what's going to happen.

The Republicans are basically now a cult of no personality and no people, and they're going to have to figure out. And so each day goes forward, I think we're going to have an increasing inability for somebody to stand up and say, "I represent what the Republicans are."

Right now the Republicans -- the governor's right -- they're lower than cockroaches. I think cockroaches are happy about the Republicans. And Democrats, as soon as this personality -- as the days fade, as soon as the cult of personality begins to go, they're going to be in search of somebody. That's a...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: This is the problem with the second term, because of term limits. You know, term limits mean that you can't ever run again. And so the minute you have, you know, gone through this nice exercise, then they stop paying attention to you, because they're worrying about who they're going to run with.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Go ahead.

GRANHOLM: I was just going to say, I think the second term is -- the curse of the second term that everybody refers to is -- has a potential of being damaging for the president. But if the Republicans continue to take very unpopular positions on issues that the public really wants to see movement on, then the second half of his second term, if he's able to pick up more members of the House and of the Senate, he could finish with a very strong...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Oh, but that's going to be very difficult in 2014. But let me pick up on that, because -- I think you're right, the clock is ticking right now. Speed matters on all of these issues. And let me ask you, Governor Granholm. I was surprised, listening to David Plouffe again there, on the issue of immigration, which Senator Santorum brought up. Marco Rubio clearly coming forward with proposals that are certainly similar to what the president has called for, yet no phone calls from the president, no -- no move to actually, you know, create some kind of united front that will get something done quickly.

GRANHOLM: I think that is going to happen. I mean, he's just getting inaugurated tomorrow. Immigration is going to be first up. That's his top priority. Obviously, he's got to reach out to the Senate. The real question is, will there be a consensus on a path to citizenship? That's the toughest issue for, I think, Republicans and the question of the timeframe for that.

So if there is a consensus on that, I think -- I mean, I think immigration is going to be the biggest area of...

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: When you look back, Governor, there are 20 issues on immigration, and you just nailed the hardest one.

GRANHOLM: Right.

SANTORUM: And you're saying, OK, there's -- you're only serious about doing something on immigration if you concede on the one that is the most difficult to occur.

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM: So are you saying that won't -- that won't be part of it?

SANTORUM: I think it is the toughest issue for Republicans...

WILL: You mean dealing with the 11 million...

SANTORUM: ... is citizenship. Is citizenship.

WILL: OK, fine.

SANTORUM: That's the toughest issue. And, of course -- and this is what -- this is how the White House works. You give us the -- you give us the touchdown, and then, you know, we'll -- then maybe we'll worry about some -- if you concede failure -- if you concede capitulation, we're going to give you everything you want, then you're -- then we're OK. That's not the way you negotiate.

WILL: But here's where the Republicans are already setting themselves up for defeat. The president offers X. The Rubio program is X minus Y. All anyone is going to notice is the Y, that is, the failure to reach citizenship. So if the Republicans want to do this, they have to get to the left, if you will. They have to be more generous on immigration than the president.

(CROSSTALK)

DOWD: ... Republicans understand this is a huge political problem for the Republicans...

(CROSSTALK)

DOWD: ... because if the -- the Republicans will become and remain a minority party unless they deal with the Latino and Hispanic issue in this country. And they will remain -- it's the fastest growing group in this country growing. It's growing in every sector of the country. And that's a problem.

To me, if you look back at President Bush's second inaugural in 2005 and what he did in the aftermath, it was the biggest mistake he made, which many of us talked to him about, was choosing to do Social Security instead of immigration. If he had done immigration, the extent of that presidency would have been different.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: He said -- he actually said to me, because he invited me to ride with him to go greet the Pope at Andrews -- it was quite a moment -- and I've cleared my calendar, so I could do it -- and we -- he said to me, I tried and tried and tried to get my party to do immigration, and the reason I couldn't do it was because of the drawing of district lines making it just too hard for Republicans to vote...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are Republicans ready now, Rick Santorum?

SANTORUM: Well, I think the Republicans are ready to do something on immigration. And, I mean, you saw Marco Rubio's plan, which is pretty -- pretty far down the road, looks a lot like what President Bush put forward four years ago.

Yes, they're willing to do it. But they're not willing to give the president everything he wants, because I think they believe the rule of law still matters in this country and that -- and that we have to respect those who did it the right way, who waited in line, and did -- and made sacrifices, and that they shouldn't be treated the same as people who broke the law and came here and -- and -- and get the same...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to get another subject in, because we saw this remarkable -- I guess we'd call it a confession from Lance Armstrong this week, two-and-a-half with Oprah Winfrey. Here's a part of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: Did it feel wrong?

ARMSTRONG: No. Scary.

WINFREY: Did you feel bad about it?

ARMSTRONG: No. Even scarier.

WINFREY: Did you feel in any way that you were cheating?

ARMSTRONG: No. The scariest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not a lot of contrition there, George.

WILL: The rewards of athletic excellence in this country are astonishingly high, and therefore the temptation to cheat is astonishingly high, and we see it throughout -- we've seen it in track and field probably more than in any others. Baseball's had its problems. You can't tell me that people in football look that way without human growth hormones and steroids and other matters. It's a pandemic problem. And the country is wide awake to it now. Every time this happens, someone says, "Ah, the loss of innocence." Who is innocent...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: Well, except he was such a bully about it. I mean, all those years of saying, "No, no, no," and suing people, and all of that. No, it's just -- it's so outrageous. It's sort of another whole level of outrageousness.

DOWD: Well, you know, I know -- I know Lance. I've been to Lance's house. I've been out to dinner with Lance. I live in Austin, you know, the whole sort of cult of Lance and all of that.

To me, there's a couple of fundamental things about this. It's first is, this is what happens, I think, as a society when we elevate celebrity, fame, fortune above many other values in society, that integrity and telling the truth.

And so we think we consider heroes not the person, the average person out there paying their bills on time, telling the truth, raising a family, loving their partners, raising their kids, all of that kind of stuff. The cult of personality takes over.

The other thing about this, there's been so many people harmed in this, I feel really bad for his kids, especially his boy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's the one place that he broke up, talking about talking to his boy.

DOWD: I feel very bad, but this is what happens -- bullies and all of this happens, we've seen it before. These are people that operate because they're very scared, they're very insecure, and they operate from a place of fear. Much of what happens on Capitol Hill, when people operate from that place, they're unwilling to confront the truth.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Fear, but also -- so -- when people have this kind of power, Rick Santorum, this other piece of what we've seen so many politicians deal with, they always think they can outrun the truth, and they never can.

SANTORUM: Right. But he did.

ROBERTS: For a while.

GRANHOLM: Well, not ultimately.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: He's -- you know, he's worth hundreds of millions of dollars. I mean, he's got a life that, you know, people would -- you know that -- what's the lesson? The lesson is, you make a confession on Oprah, and, you know, you're shamed, but look at the life he's lived. I mean, he -- he made -- he did it. Can he -- and that's -- that's the problem. I mean, what's the lesson that's really being learned?

GRANHOLM: I agree.

DOWD: I don't think he feels -- I mean, I think -- but I think -- if you go in there -- and maybe over time and maybe over the next year -- and sometimes when people have to speak that, they start it with a first step and their first step doesn't feel awkward, and then maybe a year from now the steps feel awkward. I don't think he feels good about himself. I don't think he feels good about his life, actually. And if he reflects on it and what he's done to his children and what's happened to that...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: Not to mention his cancer foundation, which has done a great deal of good...

DOWD: Listen, I'm not a big fan of...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: ... and now it's going to be...

DOWD: ... the guy. The guy treats everybody badly, everybody badly. He treats waiters badly. He treats waitresses badly. He treats wives of Tour de France winners badly. But in the end, that is not a life I'd want to be sitting in the middle of.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Can he be redeemed?

GRANHOLM: I just -- I don't want to redeem him. I mean, I don't know whether others do, but I feel like this is cheating on big and small levels. I mean, it's just such a terrible message for young people, for anybody in the sports world, for anybody in the political world, for anybody anywhere. It's a terrible message. And I'm not ready to forgive him.

SANTORUM: I'm not ready for -- look, I'm not -- obviously not condoning anything. I'm just saying, I think, from his perspective, what I saw in that interview, I don't think he would have changed a thing, number one. Number two, the organizations who run these, whether it's Major League Baseball or the Olympics, they turn a blind eye to this and have for a long time, you know, and -- and they don't -- they...

GRANHOLM: It's money.

SANTORUM: It's all about money for these organizations. And that's -- that is as much to blame as Lance Armstrong.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that is the last word today. Thank you all for a terrific roundtable. George Will is going to stick around to answer your Facebook questions for this week's web extra.

When we come back, from "Desperate Housewives" to the front page of the Wall Street Journal, Washington's newest power player, Eva Longoria, is here live. Is a higher office in her future?

But first, a little fun last night's Kids' Inaugural.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): Who do you want to see?

(UNKNOWN): Katy Perry.

(UNKNOWN): Katy Perry.

(UNKNOWN): Usher.

(UNKNOWN): Usher.

(UNKNOWN): Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama.

(UNKNOWN): I'd like to meet the president, because they have a big house.

(UNKNOWN): President and Michelle Obama.

(UNKNOWN): (inaudible) but we act like we're famous, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: From last inauguration, Beyonce at the Inaugural Ball. She's going to be back at tomorrow's ceremony with the national anthem. Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor will sing there, too. Another big star is actually co-chairing all these events for the president. She joins us now, Eva Longoria.

Welcome to "This Week."

LONGORIA: Hello. How are you?

STEPHANOPOULOS: This is your first inaugural, but the president's second, so how does he recapture the magic this second time around?

LONGORIA: Oh, there's a lot of magic here, but, again, it's my first, so it's my, you know, first experience. I think there's something beautiful to a recommitment to the people of this great nation and to see him, you know, do that today. I saw the vice president get sworn in earlier today.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's begun.

LONGORIA: Yes. And, you know, there's a lot of magic happening, Sonia Sotomayor being the first Hispanic to swear in a president was a big moment for us and our community. So a lot of firsts still happening.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you are everywhere this week, and including the cover of the Wall Street Journal yesterday, front page, "Eva Longoria's Next Role, Hispanic Activist in Washington." It goes on to say, "Her role reaches beyond fundraising and speechmaking and into policy and strategy. She urged Mr. Obama to make a key change in immigration policy last year." They call you a power-player.

LONGORIA: I don't know what that means.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you are trying to affect policy, right?

LONGORIA: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, I'm trying to do my part as a citizen and my part as a Hispanic and as a woman and as an American. So, you know, I enjoy it. I think everybody should be civically engaged in a level that would affect policy. That's the point; that's how our government is set up.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You just heard the debate on our roundtable about immigration.

LONGORIA: I did. I was out there listening on a little speaker.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, well, put yourself at the table with them. How does the president get that done this time around?

LONGORIA: Well, you know, it's -- he's made it very clear it's going to be a top priority. And, you know, there was a historic mobilization this election with the Latino vote. You know, the most contentious issue that you guys were talking about is citizenship, and there's many tenets to it, and when people say, "Oh, get in the back of the line and you didn't get in the back of the line," people don't realize there's a hundred lines to get into, and if you're in that line, then you weren't supposed to be in that line, you got to go in that -- I mean, it's a very broken system.

And what I am hopeful about is that this administration -- and particularly President Obama -- sees that immigration is an economic issue. It's also, for me, a humanitarian issue. But if we approach it economically, we have to understand that we are dependent upon a labor in this country, specifically agriculture, to provide low-cost products, and they're jobs that nobody else -- nobody else is doing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I know that one of the other things you're focused on is how to prevent it from becoming a partisan issue. How do you reach out across party lines on this?

LONGORIA: Well, you know, I think -- I think Republicans are coming around to the idea that they're going to have to compromise with the president on a lot of issues, immigration being one of them, because immigration -- in particular, I think the Republicans are going to realize if, you know, they don't do it because it's morally imperative, they have to do it because it's politically imperative. And if they're not going to do it because it's politically imperative, they've got to do it because it's economically imperative. So there's a lot of gains for everybody, no matter what party affiliation, to get this done and to fix this problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The Wall Street Journal says you haven't ruled out a run for office. Is that true? Are you going to go back to Texas?

LONGORIA: Oh, I love my great state of Texas. I can't wait until it becomes purple.

(LAUGHTER)

But no. No, right now, I'm really -- I've always said the power is with the citizens. I love doing what I do. I think, you know, it's -- it's interesting. And it's all of our responsibility to be involved in the way I'm involved.

And, you know, I'm definitely -- I'm not running for office. I respect everything that politicians do. I think it's a very, very big job. It's their day job. It's not my day job. So I'm just doing what I can to help the communities in which I came from.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good luck with that. Good luck this week. Eva Longoria, thanks very much.

LONGORIA: Thank you. Thanks.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And now we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice.

This week, the Pentagon released the name of one soldier killed in Afghanistan.

And as we take a look at President Obama laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington Cemetery this morning, we invite you to stay with ABC News throughout these inaugural ceremonies. Diane Sawyer and I will be back just before noon for a special report, as President Obama is formally sworn in for his second term by Chief Justice Roberts. That's a brief private ceremony in advance of tomorrow's public celebrations. And ABC News will cover it all, starting with "Good Morning America" here at the Newseum. Then Diane and I, joined by our team of analysts, historians, and special guests, will bring you every event of the day straight through the inaugural parade.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. David Muir will be here with a special edition of "World News Sunday" tonight. And I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."

END

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