'This Week' Transcript: Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels

AMANPOUR: Well, who would you rather run against?

BRAZILE: Well, my man dropped out, Haley Barbour. I wanted Haley to run because clearly I could go on TV and translate everything that he would say. But Mitch Daniels is not in the race. Tim Pawlenty is the person I think to beat.

AMANPOUR: Person to beat?

WILL: At this point, yes.

AMANPOUR: Who do you think, Ed?

GILLESPIE: I think it's wide open. I think that's great for our party right now, and I think that -- I think largely the field is formed. There may be some late entrants still to come, but I think we've got a field right now that whomever emerges as our nominee will be able to beat Barack Obama in 2012.

AMANPOUR: You say largely. I think you were a little bit more definitive earlier this week. You said the field is formed; the nominee will come from the current crop.

GILLESPIE: I said the field -- I think I said largely formed. There may be some late entrants. My point was, I think that the -- for most Republican activists and donors and elected officials, they're probably going to, you know, start to sign up for somebody now in the current field. There may be someone who comes later, but I suspect we -- you know, the field is pretty formed. Whoever emerges is likely to come from this crop of candidates that we have soon to get in or now.

WILL: If, however, it's not fully formed, the late entrant would probably be Governor Perry, for several reasons, governor of Texas. Texas is to the Republicans what California is to the Democrats, a great source of reliable electoral votes and money. Second, in every contested Republican nomination scramble since 1980, there has been a Texan, John Connally, the first Bush, and the second Bush, so there is a space there to be filled.

AMANPOUR: And you've been talking to people in Texas, right, about this, Jon?

KARL: Yeah. And my sense is I find actually some of the least enthusiastic about a Perry candidacy in Texas. I mean, he -- look, the guy's never lost an election, so he's clearly formidable. He just won a tough primary in Texas. But the reaction I got from Texans was, do you really think America is ready to elect another Texas governor as president right now?

AMANPOUR: Well, what about another campaign by Mitt Romney? He is about to -- to announce next week on Thursday. He's kept a very low profile. He hasn't been doing any major interviews other than, you know, he's been raising a lot of money. Is this all about to change? Are we going to see something different cropping up in the next week?

KARL: I think you're about -- look, he has been the invisible candidate, but he's been doing all that you need to do. He's proven that he can raise money above and beyond anybody in this field, I think even including Sarah Palin, if she were to jump in.

And it's fascinating right now. You're seeing Romney is going to come out. It's going to all be about the economy. The biggest weakness he had last time was he flip-flopped on issue after issue. Now you have the no-flip-flop Romney. He's sticking to TARP. He's sticking to health care. He didn't even back down from ethanol subsidies, even though he's not focusing on Iowa. You have a new Romney campaign.

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