'This Week' Transcript: Karl Rove and David Plouffe

WILL: And, second, haven't we found a way in the last three or four weeks to lower this approval? Now, I understand politics is a transactional business, but some of the transactions in this -- are you at all embarrassed about water suddenly being released to the California valley because of health care?

DASCHLE: Well, I -- you know, you're going to see polarization. And when that polarization continues as it has, people are -- are not very enchanted with Congress. I mean, they want to see cooperation. They want to be able to see some progress on some of the issues.

LOTT: The highest approval rating of the Senate...

DASCHLE: I guarantee you, once health care passes...

LOTT: ... was when we were working together after 9/11 in 2001. The approval rating went up to 71 percent. Why?

KARL: It was an extraordinary time.

LOTT: Because people saw us working together to do the right thing.

KARL: Can I ask you -- we don't have much time. I've been wanting to ask you this for some time. Harry Reid is facing -- he may be the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate, or certainly one of them. You were in exactly that situation as a -- as a leader facing a tough re-election race.

What do you make of Reid's chances? What advice do you have for him in juggling those two -- those two problems, running for re-election and keeping -- running your caucus?

DASCHLE: I think you've just got to do the right thing. That means be the best leader you can be, the best senator from the state of Nevada or South Dakota or Mississippi that you can be. Do what you've got to do to lead this country as well as you can do it, for as long as the people of your state give you that chance. And that's what Harry Reid is doing.

KARL: I mean, he -- he -- what do you think? He's going to lose, isn't he?

DASCHLE: I don't think so. I really think Harry Reid can turn this around. I really do. I think, once health care passes -- and, you know, and people start focusing on the other -- on the opposition, he's -- he's as strong a competitor -- he's never lost -- he's lost one election. And I have to tell you, he's -- he's a resilient political leader.

DONALDSON: Jon, you'd have a real headline if Tom said no...


KARL: Predicting that Harry Reid was going to go out.

DONALDSON: Look, in the short run, the Democrats will lose seats in November. In the long run, when people discover there is no death panel, they're not going to cut basic Medicare, when I have my aortic valve replaced next year, it will be the same, they're cutting the subsidy for Medicare Advantage...

KARL: We've got 10 seconds.


LOTT: ... less health care, more taxes, more fees, more government intervention. That's what they're going to really experience.

KARL: And there you have it. Besides, we are out of time. Thank you very much, George Will, Trent Lott, Tom Daschle, Sam Donaldson.


KARL: The Roundtable will continue in the green room on abcnews.com, where you can get all the political updates all week long by signing up for our newsletter on abcnews.com.

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