'This Week' Transcript: Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels

BRAZILE: You make a point. Last week, he said that he helped to save the auto industry, when a year ago he said that he was opposed to the government bailing out the auto industry. We don't know what -- which Mitt Romney will appear this week, and I think it's called a Bittersweet Farm. Can you imagine that, Bittersweet?

AMANPOUR: Better or bitter?

BRAZILE: Is it Bittersweet? I think it's Bittersweet Farm.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you, because he's -- you know, he's obviously had a candidacy already. What makes him likely to do better this time around?

GILLESPIE: Well, I think he does have the -- you know, all the markings of a second-time candidate. He's, I think, improved on the stump. I think he's much more comfortable as a candidate. And the -- in terms of the political environment, the economy is the number-one concern, and he has credibility when he's talking about economic policy and job creation.

AMANPOUR: So that will be his strength?

GILLESPIE: I think that's probably his strong suit, exactly, yeah.

AMANPOUR: Stronger than for Tim Pawlenty?

GILLESPIE: Look, I think -- you know, as you know, I'm neutral, and I think that we have a field that, you know, is good.

AMANPOUR: But on the empirical facts?

GILLESPIE: You know, Pawlenty has a great record as a governor of a very blue state. Governor Romney has a great record in terms of private-sector understanding of the economy and a critique of Obamanomics. You know, Governor Huntsman, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, everybody has, you know, their own assets. Everybody has questions they have to answer, as well.

WILL: Let's, however, remember that at this point in the 2008 electoral cycle four years ago exactly, the prohibitive favorite was Rudy Giuliani.

BRAZILE: Right, right.

AMANPOUR: Who is making some noises. But let me get to Medicare. And this week, there was yet another hiccup in the great Medicare debate. And your former president, President Clinton, jumped into that. Let's play what he said to Paul Ryan at the fiscal conference this week here in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I'm glad we won this race in New York, but I hope the Democrats don't use it as an excuse to do nothing on Medicare.

RYAN: My guess is it's going to sink into paralysis, is what's going to happen. And you know the math. I mean, it's just -- we knew -- we knew we were putting ourselves out there, but you got to start -- you've got to get out there. We've got to get this thing moving.

CLINTON: If you want to talk about it...

RYAN: Yeah, I'll give you a call. Good, thanks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: So they were obviously talking about the New York 26th, the race that went for the Democrats, and they said Medicare was the big bear in the race. Are people going to be running away from this? Or are we going to -- are the Republicans going to be able to coalesce around the current Medicare plan?

WILL: They're going to coalesce around the idea that the question is not do we keep Medicare as we've got it now or is it some other plan, because the one thing we can't have forever is the unsustainable plan we have now.

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