'This Week' Transcript: Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann

INGRAHAM: And the question, on the Texas front, I mean, all those Texas Pioneers, the Rangers, all the bundlers of all the big cash, they've been holding back. They've been on the sidelines. Now the question is, are they going to go to Bachmann? They're not going to Romney, for the most part. Are they going to go to Bachmann or are they going to go to Perry? In Florida -- in Florida and Texas, there's an enormous amount of electoral votes and enormous amount of money.

DOWD: I don't think -- one thing about Michele Bachmann I think we ought to say -- have to say, I am -- you know, whether you agree with her on issues or not, I'm exceptionally impressed with her ability in this race. And though many people say, "She can't win, she can't win," I have heard that song before through a lot of people in Washington, D.C. They said that about Ronald Reagan, actually. "This guy can't win this. If we nominate him, we're going to lose the election. Jimmy Carter is going to win." We know how that happened.

I'm not saying she's Ronald Reagan. But this -- keep in mind, this is the first time a woman has ever won a straw vote, a caucus, or a primary in the Republican Party. And -- and while we can question her sort of -- her experience in all of that, she is a steely, well-put-together, disciplined campaign, and you cannot underestimate that in this race.

TAPPER: No, I think that's right. And, also, she's also good at the retail politics. She's really good -- you know, there are a lot of politicians out there who don't like people. And we all know who they are.


TAPPER: We all know who they are. Some of them have served as president. And she -- she likes going out there and shaking hands. I mean, what did you see out there?

HENDERSON: She's indefatigable. And she connects with people. She has the pizzazz that people are looking before, because as you mentioned, Republicans are upset in the same way Democrats were upset in 2004 when they got behind Howard Dean. They don't understand why Barack Obama is president, and they're coalescing behind her. They may coalesce behind Rick Perry. I don't know. I haven't seen that on the ground here, because obviously he hasn't been here.

TAPPER: Let's go -- and let me just -- I want to talk about Rick Perry. He announced his candidacy for president yesterday in South Carolina. Here's a little clip of that.


PERRY: We'll create the jobs and the progress that's going to be needed to get America working again. And I'll promise you this: I'll work every day to try to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can.


TAPPER: George, you were there. What'd you think?

WILL: He was talking, wisely, to redstate.com, website, conservative bloggers. He can fire up the Republican base the way Michele Bachmann can and the way we as yet have no evidence that George -- that Mitt Romney can. It's very hard to win a nomination in this country if you can't fire up the base. You can't win the White House just with the base, but you can't win the nomination without it. And he's really good at that.

TAPPER: You -- you followed his career in Texas for a long -- probably longer than you want to admit.

DOWD: Twenty-five years. Twenty-five years. I took his filing when he was a Democrat, ran as a Democrat at the Texas Democratic Party.

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