'This Week' Transcript: Kaine and Steele

BUSH: I can count on this man. See, that's important. He's a firm ally.

(UNKNOWN): But now...

SPECTER: My change in party will enable me to be re-elected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Wow.

BRAZILE: Wow.

TAPPER: So, first of all, let me ask you a question, George. This -- this -- the Republicans are trying to make hay over this alleged deal that the White House made to Sestak. If you don't run against Specter, we'll give you this other job. A big deal or not a big deal?

WILL: Not a big deal. It's -- politics is a transactional business. They offered him a transaction -- if they did, and I don't see a thing wrong with it.

TAPPER: They are trying to make a big thing out of it, though.

WILL: I don't care what they're trying to do. It's a small thing.

Look, not since 1980, when four incumbent senators were defeated in -- for re-nomination, has more than one been. This year, already two have. Specter's the second; Bennett of Utah was the first. We also have Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, the appointed Senator Bennet in Colorado is a third, and McCain's fate is still in doubt. So we could have five, and that's part of the tone of the year.

But Arlen Specter, as we saw in this ad, when he changed party, there was an agreeable absence of moralism, and opportunism reigned. He said, "I'm just doing this to save my own skin." It didn't work.

ROBERTS: But it couldn't be a worse year for that. It could not be a worse year for that, because people are in this mood of hating professional politicians, hating Washington, and -- and for him to just say, I'm doing this to win, and the end of that ad says he was protecting one job, his. And, I mean, just people hate the phoniness of it all.

TAPPER: But, you know, there is one aspect to the Specter failure to be -- to win that primary that I want to get into. Donna, here's President Obama campaigning -- he's on the trail -- with the four candidates -- with the four candidates that -- that he is supporting as president. They are Creigh Deeds in Virginia, Jon Corzine in New Jersey, Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, and, of course, Arlen Specter. Do we have that tape?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We know where Martha Coakley stands.

Arlen knew that it was more important to answer to the people who sent him to Washington.

You're going to be looking at the next governor of the commonwealth of Virginia, Creigh Deeds.

Your governor, my friend, Jon Corzine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Donna, he's 0-for-4.

BRAZILE: Well, first of all, I wouldn't blame this on President Obama, because...

TAPPER: He didn't help.

BRAZILE: ... Arlen Specter has been running for office as long as President Obama has been alive, almost. The question is, could he transfer the kind of support he had in Philadelphia and other places to Arlen Specter? And the answer is no.

Joe Sestak ran a Democratic campaign. He won three out of the four largest counties outside of Philadelphia. He won Alleghany County and Pittsburgh. He ran the kind of campaign that Hillary Clinton ran against Barack Obama in Pennsylvania.

So it was an uphill battle for Senator Specter. I'm sorry, but when you announce that you're saving your job and not the jobs of the people of the state, that's a losing...

(CROSSTALK)

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