'This Week' Transcript: Kaine and Steele

STEELE: No, I mean, why do you dismiss the Hawaii vote so? Well, there was, you know, two other Democrats. That's a significant election win for us, and I'm going to -- I'm going to thank and congratulate Charles Djou on a great race, a very competitive race. That is a strong Democrat state, with very, very strong Democrat competitors that he ran against. I believe the voters there -- he took almost 40 percent of the vote, which is a significant number. He ran a grassroots campaign that was focused on the issues that impact the people of Hawaii. So don't just take away from that race, you know, sort of shoving it off. It is a significant win. It is the birthplace of the president of the United States.

TAPPER: Not everybody in your party think that way.

STEELE: Well, that's irrespective (ph) -- that's where the man was born--


STEELE: -- and we're proud of the fact that we were able to take that seat, just like we'll take his Senate seat in November.

KAINE: Jake, just for your viewers, of course the issue about the Hawaii race is for a special election, it's just a runoff, no primary. Three candidates ran, a Republican and two Democrats--

TAPPER: You guys couldn't convince one of the two Democrats to drop out of the race.

KAINE: Democrats are a fiery bunch, and if they want to run, they want to run. But let me just finish, Democrats got 60 percent of the vote in that race last night, and in the November--

STEELE: Yes, but you didn't win.

KAINE: In the November election, it will be one Democrat against one Republican, and we feel very, very confident about winning that race.

STEELE: And Hawaii (inaudible), they don't have a history of throwing incumbents out of office, so, you know, you've got--

KAINE: A three-month incumbent may be different.


TAPPER: Both good points. To the Pennsylvania 12th--


TAPPER: Isn't that the kind of race you need to win?

STEELE: Well, look at the Pennsylvania 12th, folks. I mean, yes, on paper, you would think so, right? Why? Because it's Appalachia and it's a largely conservative--

TAPPER: Conservative Democrats. John McCain won the district. The Democrat was a staffer for John Murtha.

STEELE: Yes, but -- OK, can we -- can we be real here and get out of the conventional wisdom that Washington oftentimes gets stuck in? The reality of it here is, number one, hats off and kudos to Governor Rendell. He had a political genius point where he put the primary and the special election on the same day, and you guys wrote about, oh, gee, what does this mean? What's the mystery here?

Well, it's no mystery, because what happened was the voters went in to vote for Sestak for the primary and then had to flip the ballot over and then vote against him for the special election? They weren't going to do that.

So that, coupled with the 2-to-1 Democratic, you know, edge there made that a tough race from the very, very beginning. But the thing to keep in mind from our perspective -- and the governor certainly can appreciate this -- we were on our point in terms of our turnout, our voter turnout models, exceeded expectations. Our ground game was strong. And in November, we'll get that seat back, because then, guess what, independent conservatives get to play then, and that'll be a very different race.

TAPPER: Are you going to take the House back in November?

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