'This Week' Transcript: Axelrod, McConnell and Queen Rania


AMANPOUR: Hello again. And this week, the recession was finally declared over. It officially ended June 2009, but the recovery has been slow and the voters have been losing patience. With five weeks to go before the midterm elections, President Obama and congressional Democrats are facing potentially huge political losses.

Joining me now, the president's top political adviser, David Axelrod.

Thank you for joining us.

AXELROD: Great to be here.

AMANPOUR: I want to first, though, ask you about something very close to what the president has been doing, and that's Middle East peace. The moratorium expires tonight.


AMANPOUR: The president asked the Israeli prime minister to keep the moratorium on. He's not going to do it. What is going to stop these talks from collapsing?

AXELROD: Well, look, I don't want to prejudge what's going to happen in the next many hours.

AMANPOUR: But is there a compromise?

AXELROD: There is still -- the parties are still working. They're still talking. Secretary Clinton and her team are working with them. We're very eager to keep these talks going. We think this is an unparalleled opportunity and a rare one, and we have to -- we have to seize the advantage of that, and we are going to urge and urge and push throughout this day to -- to get some kind of resolution.

AMANPOUR: So you think you'll manage to urge to keep the moratorium on? Or is that going to expire?

AXELROD: Well, I'm not going to get into the details of what's being discussed, but what is most important now is that the parties are at the table, they've having serious discussions, they ought to keep on having those discussions, and we are very eager to see that happen.

AMANPOUR: Do you see any creative compromise to make that happen? The Palestinians say they would walk.

AXELROD: Well, I understand what the public pronouncements have been, but the parties are at the table. They are talking. They're trying to work this through, and we're hopeful that they will.

AMANPOUR: You know, King Abdullah, one of the president's main partners in this process, has said on Jon Stewart that there could be war if this moratorium expires. How do you take that?

AXELROD: Well, look, obviously, this is a -- there -- there are a lot of stakes here. And I saw that quote. I'm not going to comment on that quote, but everyone -- everyone understands that these talks themselves are absolutely crucial. We're at a pivotal juncture in that region. It's important for Israel. It's important for the Palestinians. And we think it's essential that they keep on moving forward, keep on talking, keep on trying to work through these issues.

AMANPOUR: Will they?

AXELROD: And we're hopeful that they will. We're hopeful that they will.

AMANPOUR: Let me turn now to the political situation, and particularly in light this week of something else everybody is talking about, and that is the CNBC town hall meeting that the president had right here in the Newseum at which one of his staunch defenders stood up and said that she was getting tired. Let me play this for you.


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