'This Week' Transcript: Christina Romer, George Will, Liz Cheney, Al Hunt, Judy Woodruff and Robert Reich


HUNT: Look, I think it's going to -- you couldn't pick a tougher environment than you have right now today. The election is 10 months away, but right now, today, the Democrats stand to lose a couple dozen House seats and probably three or four Senate seats. I don't think the...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But hold on to control?

HUNT: Oh, yeah. I think holding control in the Senate is almost an absolute. There's no way there's going to lose control in the Senate, and they could lose control in the House, but it would have to be a tsunami, it would have to be 1994 over again.

This week's event doesn't really change much. The North Dakota race now has gone to the Republican side, but as you've said, the Connecticut race now looks safely Democratic. And I think the -- you know, the critical question ahead is, how -- are there going to be other retirements, especially in the House? In the Senate, there have actually been six Republican retirements and only two Democratic retirements, but that didn't stop the psychological shock of this week.

WOODRUFF: Which -- and those Republican retirements, of course, haven't gotten as much attention. You could argue, George, that this has been a good week for Democrats, because if Chris Dodd had stood for re-election, that looked really, really tough. Now, as -- as I think Al or you said, Blumenthal is a stronger candidate.

REICH: And even the head of the RNC says that Republicans have no chance of taking over the House or the Senate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He's getting a little hot water for that. We'll get to that in a second. George, good week for Democrats?

WILL: Not a great week for Democrats, but it's not that bad for them yet. I mean, Al, you're right, Republicans aren't going to control the Senate, but change one vote. Suppose Ted Stevens were still in the Senate instead of being out of the Senate because of a tainted case of prosecutorial abuse. In the last four election cycles, because we now have redistricting, we've reversed the system. It used to be the voters picked their candidates; now the candidates pick their voters. And that's why we have in the last four cycles a 95 percent re-election rate among incumbents, so that's very hard to overcome.

CHENEY: You know, I think that what you're seeing is clear evidence of a couple of things. You know, fundamentally, at the end of the day, setting aside the policy mistakes, once an administration -- once a president starts to hear so many charges that are sticking of hypocrisy and starts to look incompetent -- and you're seeing it across the board.

You've seen it -- we just talked about it in terms of the terror incidents. You've seen it in terms of health care now, the Democrats, they're frustrated that the president himself isn't standing up and saying, "This is what I want to see happen." Instead, he's sort of abdicating a lot of responsibility.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, he'll probably do...


CHENEY: And I think -- but -- but I think that what you're seeing is Democrats reading the tea leaves here and realizing it's going to be a tough year for them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What is the path to -- to warding off a 1994-like November?

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