Transcript: Feinstein, Chambliss, McGovern, Keane

WALLACE: That's right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But how -- how big of a problem is this for the president now?

WALLACE: Well, look, the other problem with the movement is that it's shrinking, and it's not nearly as exciting to support an incumbent president as a candidate for president.

So, you know, I think there was a joke during the Bush years that being president is hard work. And I think Obama is confronting the same reality.

But, you know, I think to the extent that he has become insulated from the gritty realities, I think that is furthered by this prize. I think when you are adored by European capitals and viewed as detached from the concerns of everyday Americans, that is never good for a president.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Meanwhile, you talk about...

BRAZILE: But there's no evidence that he's detached.

WALLACE: Well, the approval numbers are down to 50 percent from 78 percent. So I think there is evidence that he is losing touch...


STEPHANOPOULOS: It's between 50 percent and 60 percent.

HUFFINGTON: Yes, I don't think that's the main proof, though. The main proof is that the special interests that he ostensibly came to Washington to counter are more powerful than ever. The banks that had to be bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars are actually writing laws in Congress, watering down foreclosure amendments, are watering down credit card reform. What happened?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, in fact, on Friday, the other event the president had was coming out for this Consumer Financial Protection Agency...

HUFFINGTON: Which has already been watered down.

STEPHANOPOULOS: They're trying to water it down. He's pushing for it.

HUFFINGTON: And were it not -- were it not for Elizabeth Warren, who's a real American heroine, who is actually driving this reform, this would have been even further watered down.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you've got to give the president credit for pushing it. He is out there pushing it.

WILL: Here's the problem, Arianna, is that the Democrats who control the Senate and the Democrats who control the House and the Democrats who control the White House, what is the problem with this change you don't seem to be believing in?

HUFFINGTON: Well, this problem is that we have a Washington bipartisanship that exists only when it comes to how laws are made. The power of lobbyists in this city is really overwhelming. I mean, millions of dollars...

WILL: You think there's excessive bipartisanship? HUFFINGTON: ... are spent every day...

WILL: That's your...

HUFFINGTON: On -- in this one issue, in this one issue of how laws are made.

WILL: How many Republicans voted for the stimulus?


HUFFINGTON: In this one issue of the power of special interests, that's bipartisan.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And -- and we're about to see how many vote for health care. I'm going to switch topics here right now, because you talked about gritty realities. There was some grinding forward on health care this week, the Senate Finance Committee likely to vote on Tuesday.

After a -- a report from the Congressional Budget Office, which kind of affirmed some of the president's goals in -- in this Finance Committee legislation, says it will reduce the deficit by $81 billion over 10 years, cost about $829 billion. And -- and the White House is now trying to get at this issue of -- of partisanship by pointing to Republicans who are supporting their efforts of reform.


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