'This Week' Full Transcript: Dec. 6, 2009

FEINGOLD: Well, there are a number of great ideas on the table. We've gone from general conversations over the last few days to some very specific conversations that are not limited to the idea you suggested.

For me and for many others in this country, there has to be a public element to this. There has to be an approach that either creates a new public option or an expansion of current public programs. There can't just be a purely private approach. We have to have some competition for the insurance industry.

But the talks are exciting. They're getting closer. And I am cautiously optimistic that we're going to be able to pull everybody together and...


STEPHANOPOULOS: And get all 60 Senate Democrats together?

FEINGOLD: That's -- that's what we need to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And -- but is it -- is it based on this idea that you're going to expand the federal health employees...


FEINGOLD: That is only one idea that's on the table. It will not be one idea. It will be a package of ideas that reflects the different views of people in the room, the needs of the American people. So it is by no means limited to something like that, and that is not even definitely going to be it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Reach agreement today?

FEINGOLD: I hope so. We'll willing to work as long as we have to, to try to do it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Feingold, thanks very much.

FEINGOLD: Thanks, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The roundtable is next with George Will, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Peggy Noonan, and Richard Haass. And later, the Sunday funnies.


(UNKNOWN): I was wondering if maybe if you checked out some of the statistics about legalizing prostitution, gambling, drugs, and nonviolent crime in order to stimulate some of the economy?

OBAMA: I appreciate the boldness of your question.


That will not be my jobs strategy.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So we know what's not in President Obama's new jobs program. He's going to lay out some new ideas on Tuesday. We're going to talk about that in a minute, but let's begin with Afghanistan on our roundtable.

I'm joined, as always, by George Will, Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, and Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation.

And -- and, George, I'm going to start by showing everyone a poll that we had earlier this week's of presidents' approval in wartime. You see Johnson, Truman and George W. Bush, they're basically ski slopes, as they dealt with unpopular wars. We heard Secretary Gates say today that this is not an exit strategy that President Obama has proposed, and he said it was in our vital national interest, but clearly, this political imperative at play.

WILL: Those were unpopular wars, and so is this one. And there's really no precedent that I can think of for the public begin rallying behind a war that they have decided they didn't like in the first place.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Although initial support for the president's speech.

WILL: Sure, for the speech, but this is -- this is not the McChrystal plan. Let me say this in defense of the president. He -- he -- McChrystal proposed essentially nation-building, meeting the needs of the Afghan people, his words, by, with and through the almost non-existent Afghan government. This is not that. This is an increase in forces in order to constrict the mission.

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