Transcript: Sens. McConnell and McCaskill

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ABC NEWS, THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS INTERVIEW WITH SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL AND SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL.

SPEAKERS: GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: ABC'S "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS" OCTOBER 25, 2009

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."

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SEN. HARRY REID, D-NEV.: I support a public option.

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STEPHANOPOULOS: New life for the public option. Is it back for good?

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SEN. OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, R-MAINE: In terms of the public option question, which I, you know, am opposed to...

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STEPHANOPOULOS: Putting the squeeze on CEOs.

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(UNKNOWN): Let the these companies do what they do best.

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STEPHANOPOULOS: Will it work or wreck the banks?

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(UNKNOWN): I try to balance both sides.

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STEPHANOPOULOS: The White House war with Fox.

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DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: It's really not news. It's pushing a point of view.

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STEPHANOPOULOS: And Cheney's war with the White House.

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DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision.

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STEPHANOPOULOS: We cover it all this morning with the latest from Congress in exclusive interviews with the Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.

Plus, debate and analysis in our expanded powerhouse roundtable, with George Will, Obama ally John Podesta from the Center for American Progress, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham, Cynthia Tucker from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Washington bureau chief of Bloomberg News, Al Hunt.

And as always, the Sunday Funnies.

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CONAN O'BRIEN, TALK SHOW HOST: One of the top-selling costumes this Halloween is the vampire version of President Obama called Baracula. Not so popular, Congressman Barney Frankenstein.

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STEPHANOPOULOS: Is this the endgame on health reform? Will anyone win the battle between the White House and Fox News? And has the attorney general effectively ended an era of prohibition with his announcement this week on medical marijuana? The roundtable's right here to tackle all that and more today, including some breaking news out of Baghdad. More than 100 killed and 500 injured in twin suicide bombings aimed at government buildings right in the heart of the Iraqi capital.

But let's begin with by checking with both sides in the Senate. We have Democrat Claire McCaskill and the Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell.

And Senator McConnell, let me begin with you. Your counterpart, the Democratic leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, has been working the phones for the last several days. He believes he's a day or two away from getting the 60 votes he needs to break any Republican filibuster of health care reform. Is he right, and does this mean that health care is going to pass this year?

MCCONNELL: Well, I think we'll have to wait and see. We do know that we had the first vote in the health care debate last week, and it was a bipartisan majority, 100 percent of Republicans and 13 Democrats agreeing that we should not borrow a quarter of a trillion dollars at the outset. In other words, not send a bill to our grandchildren, in the very first vote of the health care debate. So we'll see how it unfolds.

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