Roundtable: GOP Politics

George Will, Donna Brazile, Dana Loesch, and Jonathan Karl.
9:11 | 11/13/11

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Transcript for Roundtable: GOP Politics
And now of course we bring in our roundtable President Obama though has -- the situation at Penn State horrifying. A moment the soul searching. And as I said we bring in our roundtable George Will democratic strategist Donna Brazil. Dana LaRoche found of this and -- his Tea Party an editor at a big journalism dot com. An ABC's senior political correspondent John call. George what -- we. -- from this. First group you what we still need to learn just how graphic was the description of the assistant coach gave to Joseph Paterno about what -- seen in action. Does that tell -- the degree of Joseph Paterno was culpability. What we've -- -- Christine had it exactly right wing graft a multibillion. Dollar entertainment industry. Anomalous -- on to higher education. You produce a bubble of entitlements and exemptions and eventually a simple moral deranged. -- -- -- George I don't know -- that. Explaining the details would have made any parent any adult just suspect and immediately call the police. My initial reaction had eyewitness that -- -- to pick up something to stop -- to stop the act itself to. Call upon the adult to you know let's stop. To protect that shall call the police and then inform everybody else latest instinct but look this was a moral failure. A human tragedy. And as a former college athlete and high school athlete to make this is just upset and to. Many of us it happens in other sports to ABC has an investigational -- the navy's swimming team and that's why he's become a teachable moment -- -- -- so a word that we use a lot of politics but now. College football college sports it's gotten out of hand and it's time that we take a look at do you think it will be as President Obama said real soul searching. Florida hopes I hope so at this point I just I I'm trying to get my mind around the fact is that is on drugs were saying that you see something like this happened right before your eyes. And your first reaction is to -- day. And then go and tell. Good coach Paterno what had happened and then go through the process of going to the administration and -- and so forth I hope there's going to be some soul searching someone's first reaction. Aside from feeling physically ill should be to physically stop it. Oh and if you send a message on this you canceled the rest of the football season why they still -- why -- in the NCAA come out and say don't. Penn State football season is over what's gonna happen they get up and even be played a ball game. I -- send a message a clear unmistakable message that this will not happen again. Then asking this -- to the other headline in in politics and that others still on ounces. Issues and allegations of sexual harassment against -- can I want to ask you John as a report says. We witnessed on Wednesday night a reporter trying to us this question at a debate and he was roundly booed and fifth. It is not our job to -- these questions. Yet well look the look McCain's core supporters see this as all the more reason to support him. And frankly -- tell their analysts are more women that come forward and you know that this idea of a press conference of hall's accusers looks like is not going to happen. It's hard seated -- to see where the source gonna -- -- has made it clear -- -- not gonna answer anymore questions about this even peripheral questions he's completely done with it. I think frankly is bigger concern as a candidate may be his inability than we saw last night's debate to. Talk about some foreign policy questions you know that to -- the commander in chief test I think that's going to be what we're gonna see next. Yeah video as usual is so have we seen the end of the story when it comes to damage it isn't gentlemen who is running for the highest office in the land and in the world. A rules when her for women -- maybe 24 but there's a pattern here. He says there's no pattern puzzle for our -- -- well we shall see. For Republicans to do with teachable moment. Because Republicans have said over -- and character matters and leadership we have this powerful government -- more government. Power the government has more character matters -- the chief executive. This is a test for them mr. -- has. Received a little bit of what I call -- a martyr status among some Republicans and that may be the wrong message. To send to someone who is a novice -- presidential politics. The truth is is that he was defined -- -- defensive. For women -- have come out. And then they went right ahead and start attacking those two women to a still anonymous. He he attacked speak up from a speaker Pelosi he made fun of Anita Hill this is not a good sign. About a candidate who would like to remain a front -- in the Republican race. And he still top of the polls let me ask you George about Rick Perry -- -- though had a very very very bad week not just his first bad week. Why should anyone believe that he contended throughout and I know you want take have some personal housekeeping business purpose for more than thirty years my wife Mari has done. In the political business -- as a speechwriter for Reagan's campaign -- his White House -- is less White House director communications. As part of her profession which is to consult with businesses and congenial political -- it's. She has been in the political business off -- on for thirty years. Last Monday she became part of the Perry campaign specializing in messaging and debate preparation. Is -- banging of fists against ahead. -- that's what she's there are forced to fix things. Some -- more excitable and perhaps less mature members of the Romney campaign of trying to make this personal. At the Michigan debate after the debate -- -- to and -- Mitt Romney they came over and talked they've been guests of our dinner table. And Romney gave her a kiss on the cheek and then went their separate way is -- both mature professionals. You you have will win win -- first time to -- -- you quite optimistic about his chances can feel. Now that he has a child and so does his -- -- his -- -- -- -- -- better advisors. Beyond that. His poll numbers are down he -- a steep climb before Wednesday night this climb steeper but I would remind you that in nineteen. And 2008 can. Presidential candidate gave a speech in Oregon which he says -- visited all 57 states and have one moment ago. It was all about man is in the white house on that note let us just look at what's -- Penney said it. Last night's debate obviously playing on the on the big -- he did on Wednesday and. Governor Perry you -- the elimination of the Department of Energy if you eliminate the Department of Energy that you remembered. I've had some time to think about answer. -- Did as he neutralized any worries about his weakness of the debates and on the issues I think he's coming around he's I think the smartest thing he did an in -- this sort of been dressing as well because the week prior to this debate he and his campaign had been saying that they are considering seeking less media attention. And going to -- debates. And now it's a complete 180 now you there's not a camera that Rick Perry will not get in front of haven went on Dave Letterman which I thought was great because I think continue to rely some of the criticism. I think it gives him a little bit more immediate times and he can be used to the pressure and scrutiny. And it if it helps his his perception in the public's eyes. And -- what about that you -- issue of his poll numbers and all his donors fundraisers feeling a little squishy. From all I -- is that the fundraising is essentially trying to prepare. I -- look look his campaign was in serious trouble. Before he had his debate performance on Wednesday I will say. He had a very strong debate last night -- it was by far Perry strongest debate you can argue -- site was -- kind of funny at times he was substantive. He was he was strong you can say that if you've been doing this all along he probably still be the front runner but it's it's a really steep climb right now prepared. A quick round four or if you look at the and you would -- McClatchy Marist poll. Mitt Romney with his trusty 23% as -- but. Newt Gingrich back from the dead may be and in second -- how -- that happened on. Well he -- -- steady debate performance he understands that -- attacked in the media taken on media done in these debates. He wins the day he's still a -- of the conservative -- he he was a populist speak for the Republicans. Do we think Newt Gingrich is going to rise -- Is in the latest anti Romulo. He's the -- over the weekend and skillful campaigner and he has perfect pitch for certain Republican constituencies but again you put your finger on the striking numbers there which is that Mitt Romney's support fluctuates wildly between 23 and twenty. And and the other anti Romney is -- -- -- go up and down up and down. But you know look -- -- got some serious problems in terms of closing this deal. But this race you could argue is as wide open as it has ever ban.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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