'This Week' Transcript: Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann

DOWD: He does have a huge benefit, though, which is, is his numbers, while bad, the Republican Party and the Republicans in Congress are even worse. And so we are at a time where it's not like we have this inverse relationship where the president does really bad and the out-party is doing really good. He has a benefit, which is what he -- they're going to try to do. They're going to try to vilify the Republican candidates, the Republican Congress, and all that. He has -- there is a political benefit in that. You're right, he has to solve the economic problems, but the Republicans right now don't have a lot of voice in this.

WALTER: Right. Two points. One, he doesn't run against Congress. He's going to be running against somebody, most likely who has -- it could be somebody who's associated with Congress, but it could be somebody who's not. But here's the more important point. He has defied political physics for some time now. He's defied political gravity. His -- you're right, Matt. His approval rating is in the mid-40s, and even though the economy and his handling of the economy is down in the 30s.

Eight percent of people think -- in this country think that the economy is good or excellent; 18 percent think that we -- the economy is going to get better. And yet his approval rating is still at 45 percent or 46 percent. At some point, those numbers have to come back down to Earth, right? Those two numbers have to get back together...


DOWD: And that's starting to happen. His August -- this August is as bad as many Augusts of any president.

INGRAHAM: Colby King in the Washington Post today writes that he cannot believe -- and Colby King, not a raging conservative -- can't believe that the president, with the country hurting, is about to take off to one of the most elite, affluent islands in the United States, which is Martha's Vineyard, not begrudging a vacation, but the optics are terrible.

WILL: When Rick Perry's plane took off from Charleston yesterday heading for New Hampshire and on to Iowa today, he flew out of Charleston airport over a huge Boeing plant, creating 2,000 jobs directly, thousands more indirectly, that the Obama administration, through the National Labor Relations Board, wants to close. Now, the optics here are terrible. The cognitive dissonance of this administration is terrible. And what economists call exogenous events, something from outside the system that shocks it, are all possible and possibly bad, particularly from Europe. The cascade effect of default from Italy, or Spain, or Portugal, or Greece, or something else, with their banks and our banks linked as they are, the ground is full of mines.

TAPPER: President Obama is starting to sharpen his tone. And in Michigan a few days ago, he basically came out and said, there's a lot more we need to do, but I can't do it with Congress -- with some in Congress, which is his new term for Republicans, some in Congress blocking me. Here he is Thursday in Michigan.


OBAMA: There are things we have to do to erase a legacy of debt that hangs over the economy. But time and again, we've seen partisan brinksmanship get in the way, as if winning the next election is more important than fulfilling our responsibilities to you and to our country.


TAPPER: So, Laura, here's the question...

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