Transcript: Sens. Chris Dodd and Lindsey Graham

STEPHANOPOULOS: How is the White House press room doing?

DONALDSON: I think it's doing OK. I mean, they're going to come to life as the public...



DONALDSON: He's done a lot of things that you should commend him for. It's not as if he invaded the Bay of Pigs. It's not as if he told the military, don't ask, don't tell, in the first 48 hours. And they told him, no, sir, sit down, please, in the corner. But he has not made huge mistakes. He's made some.

REICH: But a distinction has to be drawn I think between adulation the press might have toward the person -- and we saw this with John F. Kennedy, we saw it with Ronald Reagan -- and the way the coverage is going on the policies.

And I think, Bill, you're absolutely right. With regard to financial regulation, boy, he got a licking on the front page of the New York Times and many other places. This health care debate is being covered quite in a tough way.

DONALDSON: And in the polls, you see that his popularity is diminishing somewhat.


ROBERTS: And particularly on the car question, nobody agrees with him.


STEPHANOPOULOS: We have only about a minute left. And I don't want to let Bill Keller go without asking you about this amazing story, David Rohde, your reporter in Afghanistan. November 10th of last year, he disappeared. He's held hostage for the last seven months. Escaped...

KELLER: 122 days.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What can you tell us about what happened?

KELLER: From the beginning or the end? I mean, until I debrief David, I can't tell you an awful lot. I can't even tell you what the circumstances were that created this opportunity at the end. But at the end, he was in a compound in northern Waziristan. He and his translator companion hopped over a wall, climbed over a wall, made their way to a Pakistani army base, and he's now free and safe.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And yet -- but no ransom was paid.

KELLER: No ransom was paid.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And it really is amazing that you were able to keep this quiet for so long, over that whole seven months...


KELLER: Keeping anything quiet for seven months in our...


STEPHANOPOULOS: It probably helped save his life.

(UNKNOWN): You had to debate that decision, didn't you?

KELLER: We debated it among ourselves over and over and over again.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's all we have time for today. Thank you all very much.

KELLER: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well wishes to David Rohde.

This roundtable is going to continue in the green room, at


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