'This Week' Transcript: Two Powerhouse Roundtables

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the other things you're seeing right now is this is against the backdrop of the Republican Party coming out of the last election talking about where they're going to in the future, how they are going to be seen by the public. You guys mentioned Marco Rubio, he's on the cover of Time magazine this week. I think he's being called -- right there -- the Republican savior. He put out a tweet saying there's only one savior, and it's not me. A lot of pressure on Marco Rubio. But he's just part of a piece right now. You've seen several top Republicans come out with speeches laying out their vision for where the party should be.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JINDAL: We've got to stop being the stupid party. And I'm serious. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults.

(UNKNOWN): I would argue that a more restrained foreign policy is the true conservative foreign policy.

CANTOR: The average American is not thinking about and trying to wonder about where the Republican Party is. They're thinking about how to make their life work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Your leader in the House right there, Eric Cantor, where is this debate headed?

COLE: You know, I think it's a really good debate for the Republican Party to have. When you lose an election, you ought to be a little bit reflective and you ought to think back and you ought to begin to say, what do we need to do to do differently?

Now, we didn't do badly in the election, but the president won with less than he was elected by in '08, lower popular vote, lower percentage, lower electoral vote. We held the house. We have 30 governors. So the idea that this is some existential crisis, I think, is really overdone right now.

But we didn't win. So what do we need to do differently? I kind of like what I'm hearing. I particularly like the very direct line that Governor Jindal took, you know, because I think we have done some politically stupid...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Can't be the stupid party.

COLE: That's right. Look, we nearly were in the fiscal cliff. We could have triggered a big tax increase. So I don't want to be stupid. But you also need to be principled and consistent in your values, and I think we are. And, you know, we'll see what happens in the next year or two.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Marco Rubio does seem to be rising to the top of the heap right now.

WALLACE: Yeah, look, he's everything we need and more. He's modern. He knows who Tupac is. He is on social media. He's part of the sort of -- he has all the blessings of the old political establishment. He's close to the younger Bushes. He and Jeb Bush and George P. Bush create what I call that axis of enlightenment when it comes to immigration. I mean, he's got the policy. He's in touch with, I think, the lives of ordinary people. And he's a very accessible guy. He talks about being a working dad and juggling his own priorities.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You were shaking your head at Tupac.

ELLISON: You know, I think all of this stuff is just surface stuff. It's like lipstick on a pig. I mean, the bottom line is, the Republicans have a core values problem, not a "who knows who Tupac Shakur is" problem.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Well, I don't think -- I don't think Marco -- let me just say, I don't want to gloss over his credentials. I think when it comes to immigration reform, President Obama has stolen from Senator Rubio.

ELLISON: No.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: So you talk policy...

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