Transcript: Sens. Kent and DeMint

STEPHANOPOULOS: That may be, Arianna, although one of the things we did see this weekend and maybe because it's the middle of the summer, but Paul Krugman, the number of people who tuned it for the president's press conference is down about 15 percent from the last time around, in part because Fox was playing something else. But we have seen a steady slide over the six months on things like that.

KRUGMAN: That's going to happen. First of all, there are other things going on and also, a little bit of the novelty is wearing off. But you know, he needs to be out there. What he needs to do is be focused. I'm not sure that his foreign trip was a good idea. That may have been that he really -- that he really needed to be here pushing health care. He needs to be doing more, almost rally style events. You want to think about -- he needs to be selling his policies and right now, health care is make or break.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, the White House says the president is going to be going back out there, he'll be on the road this weekend, a little bit more in August as well. But Donna, I wonder if the problem with the press conference -- I know the White House, they were upset. The Gates thing got so much attention. On the other hand, perhaps the press conference was mistimed. It was clearly probably originally scheduled at a time they thought the president was going to be selling one bill in the House and one bill in the Senate, but the process just wasn't there.

BRAZILE: Well, the timing might have been off, George, but we also know and I guess because I'm also in the cable business, that people need to fill some of the hours on TV. Remember "The Fly" episode of the mosquito that was killed and that was three to five days on TV. I had to go out and find some other stuff to do because I heard that I couldn't kill my flies and mosquitoes.

I don't think it's a question of overexposure or bad timing because I think when the president speaks, he's often refreshed, he's calm, he's thoughtful, but he's not always focused. And I think that causes some of the problems that we're not seeing with the health care debates. He needs to be a little bit more politically focused. Not partisan, but to make sure that the American people...

STEPHANOPOULOS: On what he wants and that's been a big question. I mean, he clearly knew what he was talking about on Wednesday night, but he didn't know exactly what he was pushing for.

BROOKS: This is endemic in the structure of the way he's running policy, which is that he has some vague ideas, which are noble. Then he hands power up to Capitol Hill, and they've got all the policies so when he goes to the press conference, there are 8 million ideas floating around and four or five different committees. He doesn't want to tip the scales on any of those, so he has to be extremely vague. And meanwhile, he can't answer the fundamental questions which people are asking.

One, how do you cut costs while adding an entitlement? How do you change the health care system without asking for sacrifice? And unless you can answer those two questions...

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