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

DEMINT: I did not want this -- this to be the president's Waterloo, but pushing through a massive government takeover of our health care system was certainly not a good idea. And what happened in Massachusetts is just part of an American awakening. We saw it in Virginia and New Jersey. We see it all over the country in tea parties and town halls. People are alarmed and angry about the spending, the debt, the government takeovers.

And I've been amazed to hear Mr. Axelrod and what the president said this week. After three years of controlling both houses of Congress, they're still trying to blame someone else.

The -- Massachusetts was a rejection of the president's massive policies of -- of spending and debt. And we -- if we're going to work together, we've got to do it in a step-by-step, reasonable approach.

We've been as Republicans pushing health care reform for years. Unfortunately, the president, when he was in the Senate, he voted against interstate competition, he voted against fair tax treatment for people who don't get their health insurance at work, he voted against changing the abusive lawsuit system that adds so much to the cost.

So it's hard for us to take seriously that the president really wants health care reform. He seems to want more of a Franklin Roosevelt massive government program. I think the American people want us to work together to -- to just step by step improve the best system in the world.

MORAN: Well, there's no question that you both agree on the amount of anger that's in the electorate, but, you know, Senator DeMint, the polls show that while the voters in Massachusetts did reject the Democratic approach, they have not embraced what the Republicans are talking about. They can't really figure it out much.

There was one liberal wag (ph) who said Obama campaigned on hope, Scott Brown campaigned on nope. There are a lot of people out there who see the Republican Party as -- as the party of no right now.

DEMINT: Well, clearly on health care reform, if you look at the record, we -- we have been pushing reform for years, but the rejection of the Democrat agenda in Massachusetts was not necessarily acceptance of Republicans. We've got to earn the right -- we've got to re-earn the trust of the American people.

So it's incumbent on us over the next several months to show the American people how we can not only improve health care, but focus on the real priority of jobs.

The president's stimulus has been a massive failure. When the Democrats came into power three years ago, unemployment was half what it is today. We've seen in the past, from John Kennedy all the way to the present, that broad-based tax cuts for small businesses, as well as individuals, is the best way to get the economy turning again.

This massive government spending program is not working, and we've got to recognize that quickly. Otherwise, people are going to continue to lose their jobs.

MENENDEZ: Well, Terry, you know, my dear friend, Jim DeMint, did want to break Barack Obama. And the Republican whole political strategy is for this president and this Congress to fail. The sad thing about that, it's not about Barack Obama failing or Democrats in Congress failing. It's about the country failing at one of the most critical challenges the country has had.

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