Transcript: Newt Gingrich and Howard Dean

And, Peggy, let's start out with this whole town meeting phenomenon. This week, you -- you wrote that the message that constituents are sending members of Congress is, "You're terrorizing us"?

NOONAN: Yes, I think this whole thing is turning into a domestic political disaster for the administration, the town hall stuff, the agitation stuff, the sense of unrest in opposition.

I also think the president has managed through this drama to do one thing that I never imagined would be done at that -- at this point, and that is unite the Republican Party.

You've got economic Republicans, libertarians, the social right, social conservatives all together in opposition to this big, formless blob of a thing called the health care that's coming that you're not going to like.

So that's been extraordinary to me. This has been a lot of action for a sleepy August, you know, big political action.

ROBERTS: I actually think -- I think it's really too bad. This is complicated stuff that affects everybody, and -- and change is needed. And to have it turn into this kind of screaming, yelling fight when -- at a time when people really need to be listening and learning is -- is just a shame.

And I -- you know, I keep wondering how this happened. I mean, those pictures you showed earlier of all those yelling, screaming people, it's just -- it's so unpleasant. And I just have to believe it has to do with the shortage of nuns, because anybody knows that nuns would not behave in that fashion.

(LAUGHTER)

DONALDSON: You say listening and learning, but that's the problem, I think, one of the big problems. They came home to talk about, what, Silly Putty. There's no bill. Someone says, "Oh, euthanasia," well, that's silly.

ROBERTS: Well, that's ridiculous.

DONALDSON: But -- but you can't say, "Look at article eight of this bill that we're proposing." There's no...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, you can. It's section 1223, but one of five bills.

DONALDSON: Exactly. Exactly. What's the Senate going to do? What's the Senate going to do on the government option? We think we know it's not going to do it.

So the members are out there trying to defend what? Now, a lot of people are angry, and a lot of it's organized, but that's OK. Organization is the American way. But the people who want health care reform that's real don't really have anything to argue.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Matt, it does seem that the White House has gotten that message. They want to send people out during the August recess and answer that question, what's in it for me?

But given -- and also this phenomenon, what you're seeing is, health care still has majority support. Reform still has majority support. But the opposition is so much more intense than those who support it.

DOWD: Well, when you watch this -- when you watch this debate, when you start attacking the people that show up for town hall meetings, it means you've lost the message part of this debate. They have no message, as far as I can tell right now, on what they want to do on health care. It's, "Let's attack the opposition."

STEPHANOPOULOS: They want to get it done.

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