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

And the themes that he talked about in that campaign were very much echoed by Senator Brown in his campaign, which tells you that the hunger for that kind of leadership is still very strong.

MORAN: All right. So we'll hear from the president on Wednesday night, the bully pulpit at the State of the Union. David Axelrod, thanks very much for joining us.

AXELROD: Terry, thanks for having me. Appreciate it.


MORAN: And to talk about the political road ahead, I'm joined now by Senator Robert Menendez, who's -- of New Jersey, who's the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and from Greenville, South Carolina, Republican Senator Jim DeMint, one of the conservative leaders in the Senate.

And, Senator Menendez, let me begin with you, and let's start with Massachusetts. Your job is to get Democrats elected, and I guess that didn't go so well last week. Are -- are you willing to accept -- especially in light of the reports from Massachusetts that there was unhappiness -- with how nimble the Democrats were, that there wasn't enough support gotten quickly enough to the Coakley campaign? Do you think you bear some of the responsibility for what went down up there?

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, look, there are lessons to be learned from Massachusetts, and we certainly did everything that we could in resources, in personnel to help Martha Coakley win that election.

I think the biggest takeaway from Massachusetts, however, is that there is enormous economic angst in the country, there are people who have lost their jobs, they have a family member who's lost their jobs, their house is worth less than what their mortgage is, and that was, I believe, a driving force of the voters in that state, and it exists across the country.

And that's why I believe that the president in the State of the Union speech will address those concerns head on, and Democrats in the Congress, hopefully joined by Republicans, as well, will address it as we move legislatively to help small businesses have the resources they need to continue to exist and to grow and to hire people to be able to create opportunities and infrastructure work across the country, to help states and localities be able to retain critical personnel that is necessary and keep those people employed, but deliver services.

So I think that these are the elements of what you'll see a very focused jobs package, on an economic package, and also making sure that middle-class families have tax relief, as well. Those are all the elements of what we'll go to work on and a lot of what I clearly heard from Massachusetts.

MORAN: Yes, the Massachusetts message heard loud and clear. And, Senator DeMint, I want to ask you about something you said last summer about the health care reform fight as it was beginning. Listen to this.


SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.


MORAN: So did you break him? And is that really how Americans want you to behave here in Washington, break the president?

DEMINT: Terry, good morning.

And, Bob, good morning to you.

MENENDEZ: Good morning, Jim.

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