'This Week' Full Transcript: Dec. 13, 2009

But going back to the speech and getting back on that, as well, I think the president in the speech, he was trying to target Americans to help one, bring up his poll numbers because a lot of people are upset with the fact that this war is not going to produce a military win, i.e., drone attacks.

Also, you have issues where this president has to make the case for war again to bring peace. But at the same time, as the head of state, this president has to say, war is always an option for peace. So it's not like Dr. King talking phone violence. He has to talk about war because peace comes with it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that was the irony of the speech. Ed, some people did look at this, some conservatives and say they did see President Obama basically adopting the policies of President Bush. Is that how you saw it?

GILLESPIE: I didn't. I thought in some ways, the sense of moral clarity was positive and I appreciated that. I was less enthralled by it frankly than many of my fellow conservatives. I tend agree with John, not that he was right about what he said, and I will sound more like George Bush, I suspect than you, but that he was implying that our past actions had been immoral. And I don't think -- one, I think it's factually wrong, and two, I don't think it was right to do on the world stage like that. So I'm not sure that it will withstand the test of time as people think as a great speech.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring the debate back home because a lot happened on health care while the president was away as well. Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, came out Tuesday night, seemed to announce that there was an agreement, an emerging agreement about the 60 Democratic senators that would involve dropping the public option, replacing it with allowing most Americans, Americans who don't have health insurance from the employers to buy into something like the members of Congress plan and also a Medicare buy in for people 55 to 64. But by the end of the week, there was an awful lot of confusion on the Senate floor.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: Right now, no member on this side has any idea as to the specifics of the proposal that the majority leader, I understand has sent to OMB for some kind of scoring.

SEN. RICHARD J. DURBIN, D-ILL: I would say to the senator from Arizona that I'm in the dark almost as much as he is. And I'm in the leadership.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The number two Democrat in the Senate, George Will?

WILL: Well, the public option this week receded and was replaced by a public option on steroids, which is the buy-in on the part of 34 million Americans between age 55 and 64. Only 3 million, well about 4 million are uninsured. There are three basic political numbers that we ought to look at from this week.

CNN poll, 61 percent oppose the plan, 36 percent favor it. Second, today there are more Independents in America than there are members of either party. And the Independents are more ho hostile to Congress. Their approval rating of Congress is 14 percent below the Republicans, which is 17 percent. Third, there was a state Senate race in Kentucky this week. They nationalized it. It was in a heavily Democratic district.

WILL: The Republican was heavily outspent. He'd made this a referendum on Pelosi, Reid, and health care. The Republican won by 12 percent.

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