Transcript: Sebelius, Specter and Hatch

Joining me this morning, Ed Gillespie, former White House counselor for President Bush, Anne Kornblut from the Washington Post who's working on a book on women politicians called "Notes from the Glass Ceiling," Ron Brownstein from the National Journal, and, as always, Donna Brazile.

Thanks so much for joining us. And, Ed, I want to start with you. President Obama has an op-ed in the New York Times today. The pull quote right here is, "Loud voices have drowned out some basic facts about our plan." And it is true that a loud voice, even if it's via Facebook, is purporting something that is not factually correct about death panels. Does it bother you when leading voices in your party, such as former Governor Palin, say things like that that are just not factual?

GILLESPIE: Well, it bothers me when leading voices in either party use evocative language like that. And I think Governor Palin knew exactly what she was doing in terms of trying to jar this debate.

There are legitimate concerns about the Medicare reductions, about the rationing of care. But, you know, I think we have to be thoughtful in our language. I think that's true of Sarah Palin. I think it's true of Majority Leader Reid in the Senate, who talked about people coming to town meetings as "evil-mongers." I think it's true of the top two Democrats in the House, who referred to the actions of the people going to the town meetings as un-American.

That's evocative language, too. And I think, you know, health care is a very important issue, and -- and we ought to focus on the -- on the facts in this debate and let people come to their own conclusions about it. I think that's happening right now, by the way, and they're coming rapidly to a conclusion that they are not in favor of this reform proposal.

TAPPER: But you agree that there are no death panels in the bill?

GILLESPIE: I -- I agree that characterizing the panels that are in there, in terms of the -- you know, determining how to -- how to make spending decisions on care, that there's a legitimate concern about those. I agree that they shouldn't be characterized as -- as death panels.


Anne, Governor Palin is one of the -- the subjects of your book. My father-in-law, who is a conservative from Missouri, referred to Governor Palin in an e-mail to me earlier this -- this week as genius, controlling the world from her Facebook page.

And it is remarkable that a woman who left the governor's office and everybody was like, all of the intelligentsia in Washington was like, "She's over. She's through." She, with one Facebook entry, as Ed said, really shook up the debate.

KORNBLUT: That's -- that's right. And we're back to the, "Is she crazy or is she crazy like a fox?" debate about Governor Palin. You know, we all wrote her off a month ago. We said she would have no platform if she was not the governor of Alaska.

And here she is actually driving the debate, whether it's honest or not, whether what she's saying is true or not. And as you point out, she's doing it from Facebook. When this White House was supposed to be the Facebook White House, she's the one using new technology to drive the debate.

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