'This Week with George Stephanopoulos' Transcript: Axelrod, Durbin, Kyl

ROBERTS: I think the Democrats lost control of the argument and of the message. And -- and that's why the polls are as they are. If anybody actually looked at this bill -- which has not been easy to do, but now you can -- you would see, if you are someone who is dissatisfied with the insurance that you're getting now or not getting any insurance now, you would see a bill that -- that is basically a federal framework for health insurance for everybody for the first time ever and that will be basically a $1 trillion health bill that a lot of people are going to like a whole lot once they see what's in it. But -- and for the first time...

STEPHANOPOULOS: The question is, can they wait that long?

ROBERTS: ... it's got some long-term care in it, which everybody is desperate for, as the population gets older. It's paid for, totally paid for long-term care insurance. So I think that there's a lot in this bill that people are going to like; it's just a question of understanding it. And the Democrats should have been getting that out there more.

DONALDSON: I think, George Will, you're right, if, in fact, the bill that I conceive is going to come out of the conference committee -- and I think will pass -- is in stone, and that is the health care bill from here on. But that's not...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Which part is he right about?

DONALDSON: Well, he's right that, in fact, it probably would be a terrible mistake. But without taking that step, a quotation that you love from Napoleon, I think, is right, also. If you start to take Vienna, take Vienna. Then worry about how to administer the city later. Actually, he took it without firing a shot the first time. But the point is -- they did. I mean, two branch marshals took the bridge and all that.


This step in passing a bill now is a first step. No, these provisions will be changed, I hope, I trust, in the years ahead, but without the first step, we're never going to have a bill which covers people and begins the process of reducing the cost.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Donna, the question is going to be for a lot of progressives in the House, does that argument sell? Is this worth it after the -- a lot of the things they love, like the public option, have been dropped? And you've already seen the -- the liberal group, MoveOn.org, is taking off after it, especially taking on Joe Lieberman. Take a look.


(UNKNOWN): I want a pony. And I'd like to be four inches taller.

(UNKNOWN): Joe, I'm not sure we can actually make you taller.

(UNKNOWN): Do -- do you really want health care reform to fail? I do.

(UNKNOWN): I've got some high heels.

(UNKNOWN): We'll find a way to make you taller, Joe.

(UNKNOWN): Consider it done.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And that psychology -- and we're laughing now -- but it's made a lot of Democrats in the House and the Senate livid, the fact that these senators will hold up the bill, get whatever they want.

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