'This Week' Transcript: Former President Bill Clinton

I felt like the -- Teddy Roosevelt would have felt if he'd still been alive in the 1930s seeing his cousin Franklin being able to sign legislation in areas that he had advocated. And you know that took two decades. And this took less time. So I actually -- I was thrilled by it. And worked hard. Hillary and I lobbied people all over the weekend before the vote. And she and I were ecstatic.

It's -- it's -- sometimes takes a long time to change a country. And you -- and I think frankly now they will keep changing this bill. They'll have to keep working on it and putting more cost drivers in it to take the cost down. But it's a big, big step. And it's a wonderful thing for the country.

TAPPER: President Clinton, thanks so much for joining us. Congratulations on the third anniversary of CGIU.

CLINTON: Thank you.

TAPPER: President Clinton told me he's feeling great. Just a few months ago, he had two stents in his heart. That has not slowed him down at all. Coming up next, as you can see, our roundtable is here with their reaction to the interview, George Will, Kimberley Strassel, Al Hunt, and Donna Brazile. And debate and analysis of the week's politics after the break. And later, the Sunday funnies.


TAPPER: And we're joined by our roundtable, as always. That was a little clip of Stephen Colbert the other night. We have with us George Will, Kim Strassel, Al Hunt, and Donna Brazile.

Now, let's start with the Clinton interview we just had. George, President Clinton seemed to be strongly suggesting to President Obama it was time to look outside the judiciary for a Supreme Court justice. Is that good advice?

WILL: Well, it's traditional advice, because in the 19th century, people with political, elective experience were quite normal on the court. In the last century, a president of the United States, Taft, was chief justice, followed by governor of California and proposal candidate Charles Evans Hughes. Felix Frankfurter was a professor of law at Harvard. William Douglas, who was the longest- serving justice in American history, was chairman of the SEC. Hugo Black was an Alabama local official, then a senator from Alabama. And then Warren was governor of California, and that was the problem. Because Warren seemed to be excessively activist and to more political than judicial reasoning, Eisenhower threw up his hands and said, from now on, we're going to have judges. The last two people appointed without judicial experience were Rehnquist and Powell.

TAPPER: Kim, the interview started, we were talking with President Clinton about his comments that he made about public officials, public figures needing to watch their tone, that words have consequences. A lot of people on the right and a lot of people in the tea party movement took offense, thinking that he was besmirching them, tying them in with the Tim McVeighs of the world. Did they have a point?

STRASSEL: Well, I think that there was definitely something in his words that suggested -- just kind of roll along (ph) with this idea that the tea party crowd is this uneducated rabble, quick to be violent and go out there. I mean, I think what really bothers the tea party is this -- it's there's sort of a double-standard right now in comments like this.

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