'This Week' Transcript: Kaine and Steele

KAINE: Those statements were wrong, period. They were wrong. And it was very important for him to acknowledge that and clear that up. Now, in his defense, he has given numerous speeches that are in the public record where he's talked extensively about his service, what he did, what he didn't do. One of the papers you mentioned, the Stanford Advocate, ran a very good editorial about that very thing yesterday, and reporters who covered Attorney General Blumenthal for years have said that they have never known him to exaggerate what his service was. But in those statements, he was inflating and exaggerating. They were wrong, and it was important that he set that straight.

STEELE: At a time when the American people are clearly rebelling against the same-old, same-old in politicians, Blumenthal is not the kind of guy I think they want to send anywhere, let alone to Washington to serve at this time, so I think there is a big credibility gap here. You can't say, well, you know, on the one instance, I lied to you, but on the other, since I made up for it by explaining why I lied to you. It doesn't make sense to the American people, and he's got a real problem right now, and I think that there are going to be other issues that are going to come to the fore on this, and so we'll see how it turns out.

But again, the people in Connecticut, just like the people in Kentucky, will have the final say and the ultimate say on these leaders. And you know, it's just, again, right now, there's just this mood out here that the people are sick and tired of (inaudible) -- sick and tired of the same-old in Washington. And these two examples that we're talking about are going to be judged by the people back home.

KAINE: Here's the -- let me just say a word about Connecticut. I mean, the interesting thing, there's of course Attorney General Blumenthal is not a new figure for Connecticut voters. It's an intimate, small state. They know him well. They've elected him to be attorney general. He served very well in that capacity for many years. They are going to weigh this in the grand scheme of things, but they have an awful lot of his record, including the numerous occasions where he's described accurately his military service, that they can use to judge him.

STEELE: But now they have something extra that they didn't know before.

TAPPER: Right. Are Democrats here in D.C. or in Connecticut at all preparing for a contingency where they might have to put another candidate up as happened with Torricelli in New Jersey?

KAINE: I was in Connecticut late last week, and I'm not aware of any contingency plan up there. I think it looks like the convention was held Friday. I think they're going ahead. Connecticut voters know him.

TAPPER: Moving forward to more -- out to elections in general. First of all, congratulations. There was a Hawaii special election last night that you guys won. But for competitive special elections, the Republican Party is one for four. There were two in New York, one in Pennsylvania. You did win the one in Hawaii, although the Democrat -- there were two candidates splitting the vote there. Does the Republican Party need to rethink its strategy?

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