Transcript: Sens. Kent and DeMint

Sens. Kent Conrad Jim DeMint

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Will delay kill Obama-care, or give time to get it right? Is the president's plan what America needs now?

Questions this morning for our headliners, Democratic Senator Kent Conrad and Republican Jim DeMint, our THIS WEEK debate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man clearly was a rogue police.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The Cambridge police acted stupidly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's way off base, wading into a local issue without knowing all of the facts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Defending a friend, President Obama sparks a national debate on prejudice and policing.

That and all of the week's politics on a special expanded "Roundtable" with George Will, Donna Brazile, Paul Krugman, Arianna Huffington, and David Brooks.

And, as always, the "Sunday Funnies."

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Obama says the conversation went well. But there was an awkward moment when the cops arrested Obama.


ANNOUNCER: From the heart of the nation's capital, THIS WEEK with ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos, live from the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue.



After a week of dueling press conferences and closed door negotiations, it's clear now that Congress will not meet the president's August make-or-break deadline for health care. The Senate put off votes until September.

And while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds out some hope for a vote next week, House Democrats have not yet agreed on an approach. That guarantees several more months of struggle. So both sides are buying new ads to shape the battlefield.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When your representative comes home, ask them a simple question: Before you voted on health care, did you even read the bill? That's it, Congressman. Did you read the 1,017-page before you voted?

Now the Republicans say Congress should slow down? That's because when something goes slow enough, it's easy to kill it dead in its tracks. Tell Congress you want health insurance reform now.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And with that, let me bring in two senators at the center of the debate, Senator Kent Conrad, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee; also Senator Jim DeMint, the chairman of the conservative Senate Steering Committee and the author of a new book called "Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide into Socialism."

You've got that vivid rhetoric there. And you've also gotten into a bit of a war of words with the president in the last couple of weeks when he said the health care issue could be Obama's Waterloo and that his plans will destroy America's health care system.

But his allies argue that the plan will provide real benefits to your state. Let me show you what they're saying, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, that the president's plan could provide tax credits for up to 92,200 small businesses in your state.

It will provide $648 million for doctors and hospitals in your state, and get access for about 669,000 people who don't have health insurance now in South Carolina. They say you're standing in the way of what your state needs.

DEMINT: Well, they gave a similar numbers with the stimulus and promised our unemployment wouldn't go above 8 percent. And now in South Carolina, it's over 12. So the numbers are hard to trust, George.

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