'This Week' Transcript: Napolitano, Gibbs, McConnell

I don't think health care is going to be a big sell for the Democrats. It's something they have to do. To go through -- this was something that was a core issue during the campaign. It's a core promise to the base, even if part of the base is temporarily at least really riled up as to what they wanted.

So it was something they had to check off. It's a little bit in a way like the Medicare drug benefit back in 2003 which didn't phase in for a long time. It was something that Bush had to do in order to just shore up that front.

So I don't think the campaign will be about health care. I think it is going to be about jobs, the economy, and just do you want those guys back in?

BROOKS: When FDR did the New Deal, 70 and 80 percent of the American people basically had a good view of the government. Now, like 15 or 20 percent of the American people have a good view of government. So if you have a whole series of things that look like big government and a lot of spending, they're going to take it out on you. And I don't know if more people will switch, but 20 House members, House Democrats are going to lose in all those states, North Carolina. They're just going to get wiped out. Harry Reid might get wiped out. People will get wiped out across the country.

TAPPER: I was just going to say, this is an end of the year show. So it's a good time for predictions. And you've just offered yours. Charlie Cook, the respected political prognosticator predicted that Republicans will pick up 20 to 30 seats in the House, and four to six in the Senate. You said 20 in the House, how many in the Senate?

BROOKS: I'm with Charlie. Twenty or 30 at least. And look at states like Illinois which is a Democratic state, got a very moderate, very impressive candidate, Mark Kirk has a chance to win there. You'll see some unexpected places. I think assuming things don't change, the Republicans will do pretty well and they'll repeal half of health care, only the painful half.

DOWD: Well, I agree with that. I think they're going to probably pick up 25 seats in the House and they're probably going to pick up five seats in the Senate.

TAPPER: Still not enough to control.

DOWD: No, but I think one prediction I have in the aftermath, of that, which I think will happen, the Republicans will misread the mandate. The Republicans will think it was because of something they said or they did as opposed to the Democrats went off tangent and wasn't in line with the American public and the Republicans will do something, which actually in my view, could be a benefit for Barack Obama going into 2012 if he has to deal with a more Republican Congress and then he can pivot against what the Republicans are doing.

KRUGMAN: Can I just say, mega dittos to that?

TAPPER: Prediction for election 2012?

MARCUS: So my prediction is slightly rosier. Let's remember ...

TAPPER: Rosier for Democrats?

MARCUS: Rosier, slightly rosier for Democrats. And let's remember the president's party always -- almost inevitably loses seats in the mid-year election. And I think the answer to the question depends on what Paul can tell us about where the economy is -- particularly where the unemployment rate is going to be in next spring heading into the fall because that will really determine how people feel about the incumbent party.

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