'This Week' Transcript: Roundtable 01-02-11

Whether it's legislation or regulatory action by this administration, there will be pitch battle between the House Republicans and the Obama White House.

TAPPER: George?

WILL: Well, Darrell Issa, someone you've never heard of, but people are going to hear a lot of this year, has the chief investigating subcommittee. He has seven subcommittees. He has told them he wants his seven subcommittees to have two hearings a week for 40 weeks. Seven times two times 40 is 560 hearings.

This is because the Republicans believe that such is the contempt for the electorate and now contempt (ph) for the elections that just passed, as demonstrated in the -- in the lame-duck session, that the Obama administration will try and do everything it can by regulation rather than legislation.

You mentioned the net neutrality, the taking more public lands under new classification by the Interior Department, the EPA proceeding with carbon emissions limits. All of these are challenging Congress on the question of, who rules?

TAPPER: Donna, the -- the president will have an opportunity in a very high-profile way to define how he sees the next two years, even while this is going on by House Republicans, when he gives his State of the Union address. What are you looking for the president to say later this month when he gives that address?

BRAZILE: Well, first of all, Jake, I'm surprised that George Clooney is not here, but you're a good substitute, and I just wanted to tell you that.

TAPPER: I'm woefully inadequate, and I'm aware of that.

BRAZILE: Well, you're not bad on the eye this early in the new year.

TAPPER: Thank you. I...

BRAZILE: Look, the Republicans won a chance, not a mandate. The Tea Party regulars will hold all of the cards, and the Democrats understand that. They understand that the Tea Party will make demands on the Republican leadership in the House that they will not be able to fulfill. The Republican leadership will be unable to -- to make a deal with the Democrats, who still control the Senate, and President Obama, who controls the White House.

They will look uncompromising. And I think the president will be able to redefine the framework of what he's trying to achieve, which is economic growth, so that the jobs will come back. That will help him in 2012, but more importantly it will help the American people in 2011.

TAPPER: Is that possible? Do you think that might happen?

GARRETT: I don't think it's very likely, for a couple of reasons. It's not going to be just Darrell Issa. Every committee in charge of major policy will conduct oversight, so you'll see health care attacked in the Ways and Means Committee, Energy and Commerce. All these committees will pick apart parts of legislation they disagree with to establish what Republicans believe they failed to do in 1995 when they confronted then-President Clinton, a predicate for action.

Republicans understand, because Democrats control the Senate and the president still wields the veto pen, what they have to do is essentially create a two-year argument to replace President Obama, using legislative vehicles, oversight hearings, and a body of work that says, "These policies don't work for America. They're taking us in the wrong direction." And whomever the Republican nominee is in 2012 will inherit that record, that predicate, and take it into the general election.

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