Transcript: Axelrod

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ABC NEWS, THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS INTERVIEW WITH WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER DAVID AXELROD.

SPEAKERS: GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: ABC'S "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS" OCTOBER 18, 2009

SPEAKERS: GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT GEORGE WILL, ABC NEWS PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST PEGGY NOONAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL JAKE TAPPER, ABC NEWS.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Good morning, and welcome to "This Week." Wall Street is back, but what about Main Street?

(UNKNOWN): I was collecting unemployment, but unemployment just wasn't enough.

(UNKNOWN): We have millions and millions of people being kicked out of their homes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The first Republican vote for health care.

SEN. OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, R-MAINE: When history calls, history calls.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But can Democrats bridge their differences?

SEN. CHARLES E. SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: We must have a public option.

SEN. JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, D-W.VA.: Leaving 16 million men and women and children uninsured is wrong.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This morning...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I'm just getting started.

(APPLAUSE) I don't quit.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... critical questions at a crucial moment for the president. (UNKNOWN): Why do people hate you? And...

(UNKNOWN): Why are we still being nickel-and-dimed?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Our exclusive headliner, Obama's right-hand man, senior White House adviser David Axelrod.

Plus, our expanded powerhouse roundtable, with George Will, Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman, Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post, and ABC's chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper.

And, as always, the Sunday funnies.

JEY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: A new study shows that the phrase most often used by President Obama is "Let me be clear." The phrase he uses the least often? "Let me be specific."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Challenges just keep coming at President Obama, which gives us plenty to talk about with the man by Obama's side to deal with all the incoming, White House senior adviser David Axelrod.

Welcome back.

AXELROD: Thanks, George. Good to be here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: There -- there is so much to talk about, but it's all against the backdrop of a debate that's kind of swirling through the political world right now, crystallized by the National Journal magazine. We're going to show the cover of it right there, big picture of President Obama, the question, "Is He Tough Enough?"

Inside, they quote the historian Douglas Brinkley, who says, "Obama has created an atmosphere of no fear." And a Senate Democratic aide, "Obama's style has to be more Lyndon Johnson, half I love you, but I'll stick this screwdriver right through your heart in a second if it is to my advantage."

Is that what the president needs to do? Is it time for him to get tough?

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