Transcript: Kerry, Hatch

Of course, we had some experiences before that as well that were very redemptive and helpful. And all I can say is that the latter part of Teddy's life was really, really tremendous. And I enjoyed being with him, you know?

We were like fighting brothers. I mean, we would go at each other and he would walk up to me and throw his arms around me and say, how did I do?


HATCH: And I used to just laugh. And I used to really rib him and give him a rough time too.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You said fighting brothers, and I couldn't help but notice you and Senator Kerry already talking about health care right before we went...

KERRY: Yes, listen, we're going to get Orrin. Orrin is going to be our man. He is going to be the go-to Republican. He is going to do what Ted Kennedy would have done. Right, Orrin?

HATCH: All they have -- all they have to do is just start thinking straight, and I'll be right there with them, I'll tell you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that's the big question. You say, do what Ted Kennedy would have done. And you know, this has been a big part of the debate this week. In fact, Secretary Sebelius engaged it just a couple of days ago.


SEBELIUS: The best possible legacy is to pass health reform this year and have a bill that President Obama could sign. And hopefully at every step along the way, they'll ask themselves what would Teddy do? And move it forward.


STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Senator Kerry, there already is a big debate over what would Teddy do. I mean, I think a lot of liberals and progressives saying he would fight for this public health insurance option and, you know, if that -- if you didn't have that, it wasn't worth doing.

Others look at it, and I think you may be one of them who say, no, the lesson of Senator is that he got what he could get, the perfect couldn't be the enemy of the good.

KERRY: Well, Ted would put facts on the table and he would put the reality of life for a lot of Americans on the table. And the reality of life is that we have over 87 million Americans every year during some portion of the year who don't have insurance. And almost 50 million who all of the time don't have insurance.

It costs them and costs America an enormous amount of money. We are not managing an efficient health care system. And so we are delivering worse health care for more money than many other nations in the world.

Now Orrin knows that. We know we can do a better job of providing health care to Americans. And what Teddy would do is he would fight for that public option, because he believes -- believed that the public option, as I do, is an effective -- the best way possible to be able to reduce the...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But he could count votes as well...

KERRY: Now let me just finish...

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... and the votes don't seem to be there.

KERRY: Let me just finish. Let me finish. He would fight for it, and he would do everything in his power to get it, just like he did for the minimum wage or like he did for children's health care, et cetera. But if he didn't see the ability to be able to get it done, he would not throw the baby out with the bathwater. He would not say no to anything because we have to reduce the cost. We have to make these changes. And he would find the best way forward.

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