'This Week' Transcript: Kaine and Steele

DONALDSON: Well, should Rand Paul now drop out? We just had that discussion.

TAPPER: But let me...

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: You know what -- you know what this does show? This does show a change in consciousness when it comes to having served in Vietnam. There was a time when...

ROBERTS: Yes, absolutely.

TAPPER: I mean, the idea of -- of bragging about having served in Vietnam, in a weird -- in a weird way, shows some sort of progress.

ROBERTS: Absolutely. I mean, for a long time, the whole business of Vietnam was just the opposite. And as he said, when people came home, they were castigated.

TAPPER: Well, he said, "When we came home."

ROBERTS: Well, but the -- he said some were, but he didn't -- at least didn't claim that.

DONALDSON: Well, we've made progress.

ROBERTS: But I think the First Gulf War is what changed that. And there was pride in the military. The leadership of Colin Powell, Schwarzkopf, all of that just turned people around about the military. And we've seen that in our polling.

DONALDSON: I mean, Cokie, it's not just that.

ROBERTS: The trust for the military has gone way, way up.

DONALDSON: It's not just that. It is the reaction to some extent that you pointed out, Jake. We treated our service personnel so shabbily at the end of Vietnam, we were kind of ashamed of it. We had been beaten and all of that. So we blamed them. Well, that's ridiculous.

Now, people who oppose this war in Iraq, oppose the war in Afghanistan, still honor, rightly...

ROBERTS: Right.

DONALDSON: ... the service of the people that we've sent there to fight. And that's exactly a good thing.

TAPPER: Let's turn to the special election in Pennsylvania, where the Democrat beat the Republican. You heard Tim Kaine earlier talking about how great that was for the Democratic Party. Here's an excerpt from an ad by the winner, Democrat Mark Critz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRITZ: I'm Mark Critz, and I approved this message because I want you to see this TV ad that the Republicans are running.

(UNKNOWN): Mark Critz, he'll put the liberal agenda before Pennsylvania.

CRITZ: That ad's not true. I opposed the health care bill, and I'm pro-life and pro-gun. That's not liberal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: That's not liberal, Donna. And is that how -- is that how Democrats win, by being Republicans?

BRAZILE: Well, first of all, the party's very diverse. I keep telling people we have moderates, conservatives, bland Democrats, boring Democrats. We have Democrats of every variety. He ran simply as a Democrat who represents that district, and he beat the Republican who used a playbook of trying to nationalize the election. They wanted this election to be about Pelosi and Obama, and Mark Critz, rightly, ran about the people of the Pennsylvania 12th Congressional District.

WILL: The basic political fact of this year is that 70 percent of Republicans call themselves conservative or very conservative, but only 40 percent of Democrats consider themselves liberal or very liberal. So I think this is -- gives a sort of systemic imbalance in favor of the Republicans in this election.

ROBERTS: But Donna's right. Look, you can nationalize some elections. We saw it in '94. We saw it in 2006. And Republicans certainly think they're going to do that this year and turn it into some sort of a referendum on Obama and Pelosi, and that could happen.

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