'This Week' Transcript: Obama Adviser David Axelrod and Sens. Jim DeMint and Robert Menendez

DOWD: What -- what I think needs to happen with the White House, they're going to have to go through what Elisabeth Kubler-Ross says, the stages of grief, because they've been in denial, and the Massachusetts election maybe woke them up out of it. And now they're in this anger. They're going to fight. They're going to fight. They're going to fight (inaudible) 20 times. David Axelrod is talking about fighting, so they're angry.

They're going to go through a series of depression, and then they're finally going to get to acceptance, which is what the American public wants, is the two members of both problems to get together and solve the problem.

(CROSSTALK)

DOWD: Give up some -- give up some -- which I think...

MORAN: What's the likelihood of that?

ROBERTS: It's none. It's zero.

MORAN: Whether the likelihood is not -- it's not -- is...

ROBERTS: Zero.

MORAN: It's what Barack Obama ran on. Barack Obama ran...

ROBERTS: So did George Bush, by the way.

MORAN: He didn't run -- Hillary Clinton was the fighting president. Al Gore was the fighting candidate. Barack Obama was, "We're going to unite the country and come together."

DONALDSON: David Plouffe -- David Plouffe, his campaign manager, has been brought back to save him now. Read in the Washington Post op-ed piece that he wrote today, he says the first thing we have to do is pass this health care. How are you going to do that, David? I mean, thank you very much.

And the last thing he said was, "No more bed-wetting," meaning get tough. But the problem -- Cokie is right. I heard you wanted to get in there, and I'll let you in, in just a moment. If you went to Mitch McConnell now, if you went to Mitch McConnell (inaudible) and said, "OK, you win. Let's agree on some things. You've always said, for instance, pre-existing conditions, et cetera." What's the incentive for Mitch to say, "Yes, let me help you pass a bill that Americans really like"? Zero.

MORAN: To avoid being the party of no.

DONALDSON: But -- but it's worked for them in the short run.

ROBERTS: But it doesn't matter.

DONALDSON: And they're looking at the short run, meaning November.

ROBERTS: The other problem the president has is that the way -- as Matt says -- the anger is now focusing on the banks. And, boy, do I get that. I mean, I -- I -- I spend a lot of time being furious with the bonuses and the way these people live and all of that.

But it is -- it's having a detrimental impact on Wall Street. And, you know, you get to a point where you see Wall Street dropping 4 percent, as it did last week in the wake of conversations about financial reform...

DONALDSON: And Ben Bernanke.

ROBERTS: ... and talk of Ben Bernanke not been reappointed, that becomes a real problem for them, because if they take this big sort of populist stand and it -- and it hurts the economy rather than help it, then they're really up a creek.

MORAN: Well, let's look ahead to this week. The president gets a chance to restart his agenda, reset things in the State of the Union address. Presidents love to come before the country and say, "The state of the union is great. It's fantastic." Sometimes they can't, however. Take a look.

DONALDSON: Jerry Ford.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN: In the near future, the state of the union and the economy will be better, much better, if we summon the strength to continue on the course that we've chartered.

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