'This Week' Transcript: Former Vice President Dick Cheney

CHENEY: We need to do -- we need to do it all. They can't say, well, we're going to write off that group or we'll write off that segment. We've got to have first-class candidates. I think we're making progress. I think Reince Priebus is doing basically good work in terms of trying to change the rules to move up the convention date, to shorten the primary time and put in, in the field, a full-time paid staff as the Obama people over the years.

So --


STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you see anybody out there who can bring back some Democrats and independents to the Republican -- ?

CHENEY: Oh, I think so. I'm not going to predict at this point or endorse anybody. We've got a long way to go to the next presidential election. But we have been there before. It's not the first time we have had to go down this road and it's basically, I think, healthy for the party to -- you know, to be brought up short, say, OK, now it's time to go to work and we need to look to our basic strategy, our personnel.

And as I say, I feel very strongly about it's time to get a new generation involved.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you're looking healthy, too, and we're looking forward to talking later in the program about your new heart and the book called "Heart."

STEPHANOPOULOS: Coming up next here, our powerhouse roundtable takes on all the week's politics, including the latest salvos from Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The roundtable is up next. They weigh in on the politics of this Obamacare chaos.



OBAMA: The product is good. I want people to be able to get this great product. And that product is working, it's really good.

JON STEWART, HOST, DAILY SHOW: When did the president of the United States turn into Gill from the Simpsons?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible), how much can I put you down for? A lot? Please say a lot. I need this.


STEPHANOPOULOS: How much trouble for the president -- he lost Jon Stewart this week. We're going to talk about that on the roundtable. Joined by Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard. Democratic strategist Donna Brazile. S.E. Cupp from CNN's Crossfire, and former Vermont governor, Howard Dean, also a medical doctor, presidential candidate.

Let me start with you, Governor Dean. You were laughing when I used the words Obamacare and chaos. You think everybody should calm down?

FORMER GOV. HOWARD DEAN, D-VERMONT: It's not chaos. It's a rollout of a big website. And I haven't seen a rollout of a big website in anything, including the private sector, that has not been troubled. And this is one that's troubled. And they're doing a lot of smart things to try to fix it. I think they'll fix it, and I think this is going to be fine.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what do you say to those other Democrats like Joe Manchin, who say, yes, you might be able to fix, but it would just be smart to have a bit of a delay.

DEAN: It's too early for that. If there has to be a delay, I'm sure there will be a delay. But right now, they think they can fix it by the end of November. I don't think they would have said that -- because it's obviously going to be very embarrassing if they are wrong -- unless they thought it was true. They have some really smart people, and they have a private sector company that is supposed to be fixing it.


BILL KRISTOL, WEEKLY STANDARD: Let's hope they fix it for the sake of the country. But the problem, they can fix the website but they can't fix Obamacare. And the big story this week and last week was that people in the individual insurance market, about 15, 16 million of them apparently, getting notices from their insurance companies they won't be able to renew their policies for next year.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Because it does not comply.

KRISTOL: It does not comply with all the mandated benefits in Obamacare, and their policies they purchased, were individually rated, they got rated for whatever their health condition was, and now we have community (ph) rating. Over 10 million people are losing policies in the individual market. Joe Manchin, whom you had on, said something actually very interesting a minute ago. He said, no one should be forced to buy a policy that's inferior to what they had and that will cost more than what they had. That is what millions of Americans are going to be forced -- they are going to be driven to the exchangers. Now, the defenders will say, well, that helps subsidize other people.


KRISTOL: Joe Manchin says no one should be forced to buy a policy that costs more and is inferior. And that is not the case with Obamacare.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's part of the defense. But the other thing that the White House is going to say, Donna Brazile, is that some of the people who are in will have to pay more, and they can see that somebody might have to be more, but they're going to be paying more for a better policy.

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely. Look, I think this rollout was a huge bundle. It was a mistake, no question about it. But you know, go back, Will Decorin (ph), who was the architect of the Medicare program, said that success in any social program is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent implementation.

I think that they are going to fix it. It's going to work better over the next 30 days. And you look at the people who have already enrolled. They are not just enrolling online, there are in-person rollouts. There are people who are calling that 1-800 number. By the way, I have that number and I just tried it over in the green room. It works. And there are people who are being recruited to help sign up people. So I think it will work. And all of these, what I call negative folks who are saying bad things; they're going to eat their words.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Perhaps. On the other hand, we're not learning who exactly is signing up right now. That's a number that the White House administration is not going to give out. And S.E. Cupp one of the big problems, and Rich Besser talked about this as well, one of the differences from Medicare, this time around, you need young people to sign up.

CUPP: Exactly.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If they don't sign up it's not going to work.

CUPP: Exactly right. There's two problems, one is the technological, sort of mechanics of this. Obamacare relies on Millennials, these young invincibles who have never bought health insurance in the past, to suddenly change their behavior and buy something they don't think they need. And in some cases can't afford. That mechanical issue remains to be seen and the web site rollout has affected that.

But culturally it also reads I've talked to a lot of Millennials, also reads as an inability to speak their language. Donna you might call an 800 number and sit on the phone for 20 minutes. You might meet in person with someone. Millennials are not used to that. They don't meet in person with insurance brokers or travel agents or anyone. So they need a website that works, that gets them, that is easy. That is young-person approved. And they're not going to be patient as the president and the administration tweaks all of those glitches.

DEAN: I would have to disagree with S.E. and this has been written about by many, many people so I'm not just picking on her. It is not true that if young people don't sign up the program doesn't work. That's false.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Wait a minute the White House just said that they have to have about 1/3 of the people 2.7 million of the 7 million people have to be young people.

CUPP: That's what it means.

DEAN: No. That's not true actually. Because the reason that is framed as being true is everybody assumes that you can't do community rating without an individual mandate, and that's not true. And I know that because I did it 20 years ago. We did most of the stuff that's in Obamacare--


DEAN: In Vermont and we also have almost every child under 18 has had health insurance in our state for 20 years. And we've had community rating, really tough community rating where you couldn't charge more than 20% above your base rate to anybody in the country, in the state. And you couldn't discriminate anybody for pre-existing conditions. We've had this for 20 years.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This is a relatively small community, relatively homogeneous community. Can it work nationwide?

DEAN: Of course it can work nationwide. The problem is to scale. It probably would have been better to have four or five regional exchanges than one big federal one. They didn't know that 34 states were going to refuse to participate in the exchanges.

We can fault the Obama administration. Certainly there's fault to be had here. I should add though, the Republicans bear some responsibility for this. Because they opposed, and opposed, and opposed, they actually did de-fund part of Obamacare. The 44 votes they took to kill it didn't do anything. But there was some stuff attached to riders.

Everything that the Obama administration has to do has to go upstream against Republicans that wanted to kill this program no matter what. So there is some responsibility that they bear as well.

KRISTOL: President Obama said over and over in selling this plan in 2009 and 2010, if you like your current plan, you can keep it. That is false. About 15 million people are being told your current plan, which many of them do like, they purchase the appropriate plans for themselves. They are being told that they can't keep it. They are being forced into these exchanges which a) don't work right now and b) in which they will get a plan less suited to them that will cost more. That's just a fact.

And I think that's the big political story. More than the website, the big political story is that President Obama said, over and over again, if you like it you can keep it. And that is not true.

BRAZILE: And tens of millions of people last year got you know refunds from their healthcare plan. Many people got grandfathered into their old plan. Three million more adults are now getting coverage as a result of Obamacare. And eight million women are getting preventative care. So Obamacare is already working. When I made that 1-800 and yes I like apps. My old boss was in charge, he would get the I.T. people and the Service people together and reinvent this and it would be done like this.

And back in the day Bill when you and I were getting health insurance, we didn't have Twitter. So now a day's people want things instantly. And that's the problem. Because when you call, George I was able to get in touch with a D.C. person. I live in D.C. But I also called back from Louisiana and they said you got to wait on line for the healthcare marketplace. That's part of the problem. Part of the problem is Obamacare relies on cooperation and partnership with the states. And that's one of the reasons why this website has been so bungled.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You guys are talking about what the politics will be and whether it's going to be successful in the long-term. We already see Ted Cruz; they're not backing off one bit. They may not have many friends in Washington but getting embraced in Iowa. He was there again this weekend.


SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: I'm convinced we're facing a new paradigm in politics. It is a paradigm that is the rise of the grassroots. It has official Washington absolutely terrified.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Hillary Clinton may be staying away from the early primary states, but the big tease continues. Here's how she answered a question about Afghanistan.


HILLARY CLINTON: They actually have women candidates, you know, it's not likely that they would win, but that didn't happen here either so you can't blame Afghanistan for that.



STEPHANOPOULOS: Just a tiny little drop of a hint right there. Bill let's talk about Ted Cruz first. Not backing down at all. One of the predictions he was making in Iowa this weekend is that come 2014, all the ads are going to be about Obamacare. And that is what is going to preserve the Republican majority in the Senate and hold on, I mean help them get a majority in the Senate and preserve the Republican majority in the House.

KRISTOL: I think he's likely to be right. I didn't agree with his tactics over the last couple of months. I still think there was some price to be paid for the shutdown. But I've always said that the failure of Obamacare will dwarf, the train wreck of Obamacare will dwarf the minor derailment of the shutdown. And Ted Cruz is going to look better and better.

He's the guy who understood one thing that a lot of other Republicans didn't. Obamacare is the center of gravity in American politics today. It's the most important program. It's the center of the Obama administration's legislative agenda.

It is intrusive in a way that most normal, liberal, big government programs, however much people like me might criticize them, aren't. Most of these programs you expand benefits for poor people, Pell Grants, food stamps, whatever, or you give them to everyone, Social Security.

This is a kind of unusual program. You are forcing people into these exchanges. You can't, my friend in Washington who got his notice this week saying you can't keep your individual insurance, he's not being left alone. Most big government, liberal programs do leave other people alone.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If your insurance plan conforms with the requirements of Obamacare you don't have to go to Obamacare.

KRISTOL: Which very, very few, almost no, about 15% of individually purchased self-insurance plans do. And why is that? People it was a free market. If people wanted to buy all those benefits they could have.

DEAN: No, no, no. We kicked all those people out of state when we did this. And it was a good thing we did because they were taking 50% of every premium dollar and keeping it for themselves.

What this is doing is driving the fly-by-night insurance companies out of the market and forcing the good ones who have bad policies--

KRISTOL: Wait, wait, wait, so when Blue Shield drops, when Blue Shield and these huge companies drop 300,000 people in Florida, those are fly-by-night insurance companies?

DEAN: First of all Blue Shield is for profit so it's Anthem I'm sure in Florida especially. Second of all, yeah, even good companies have crappy policies with enormous deductibles.

KRISTOL: But the government, but the government, that's going to be great.

DEAN: The government has a right to make sure that when you buy something it is what it's supposed to be.

KRISTOL: And to force you into the exchange? That's what they're doing.

DEAN: That's, I think that's okay. Because I think in the long run what's been happening in the past is those policies that get sold don't cover what you think they cover. And furthermore, I've and this used to happen when I was practicing, an insurance company would pull your insurance if you got sick. That is not allowed anymore under Obamacare.

BRAZILE: And look at these--

KRISTOL: I think Obamacare is in fact going to be the reason that we are going to pick up seats in the House and we are not going to lose the Senate.

BRAZILE: Ohio became the 26th state to expand Medicaid coverage for its uninsured individuals, 270,000 people. Now North Carolina is considering it.

KRISTOL: And what percentage of doctors in Ohio accept Medicaid?

BRAZILE: Well you know, I'm not a doctor--

KRISTOL: Most of the people signing up are signing up for Medicaid which is a failing program and increasing numbers of doctors are--


CUPP: You have a growing list of Democrats who are worried about Obamacare and were not going to run on Obamacare's success.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you were laughing when Howard Dean said this is going to help Democrats next year.

CUPP: They won't be running on Obamacare.

STEPHANOPOULOS: On the other hand, and Bill says it's going to overwhelm the shutdown. But right now, you look at the generic ballot between Democrats and Republicans for 2014, Republicans about 8 or 9 points behind.

CUPP: Yeah, I think what you're seeing, back to Ted Cruz, I think what you're seeing in the Republican Party are two interpretations of what happened in 2012. Ted Cruz and folks like Mike Lee and Rand Paul are looking back and saying, you know what, we lost 2012 because we weren't conservative enough. Someone like Ted Cruz says, I got elected and Mitt Romney didn't. So they're polling the party that way.

Then you have the Paul Ryan flank who says, I'm pretty darned conservative. I'm conservative enough. The problem was messaging. We didn't have a positive message. We weren't artful in our, you know, articulation of our policies. And so you have folks like Paul Ryan and that flank trying to talk about how we can cut the deficit and let's be smarter about our policies.

So there's that tension and all we're talking about is how Republicans disagree with one another.

BRAZILE: Look you know the problem with the Republican Party is that there is two Republican Parties. I mean Dick Cheney sat here and said his daughter's going to win. She's running against a Republican. Ted Cochran got a Republican challenger. Lamar Alexander, John Cronin.

The problem with the Republican Party is that it's exploding and--

KRISTOL: Two parties is better than one party.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to bring that to Howard Dean. How about on the Democratic side? If Hillary Clinton decides to run, is she going to face a serious challenge from the left and are you going to be that person?

DEAN: I am not going to be that person. I'm supporting Hillary if she runs.

KRISTOL: Oh you've made my day. I'm serious. She needs a--


DEAN: I actually think they're likely to nominate somebody on the other side who is a Ted Cruz who is going to scare the living daylights out of Americans. This is a guy who brought the American, not just the American economy, but the worldwide economy to the brink of collapse. That's what he was threatening to do. That is not going to be a person people are going to vote for President of the United States.

And Hillary Clinton is the perfect foil. She's done it all. She's clearly ready to be president from day one. You can hardly ever say that about somebody who hasn't been in the White, I mean who hasn't served in that capacity. She's got the foreign affairs experience. It's the perfect foil for the candidate--

KRISTOL: I'm so depressed. Howard Dean's not running. The Red Sox lose due to umpires. It's a rough weekend.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you all very much. Up next, much more with former Vice President Dick Cheney on his new life with a new heart and the 26-year-old minister who has an intimidating assignment.


JOSHUA DUBOIS: Within a few minutes he wrote back and said this was exactly what I've been looking for.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Joshua Dubois and the President's Devotional in our Sunday Spotlight.


STEPHANOPOULOS: We have a new way for all of you to keep up with our reporting at ABC News, it's a mobile app for your Android or iPhone that sends personalized alerts and breaking news all day long. You can download it from Google Play or iTunes.



JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: What happens if you don't change the batteries on that?

CHENEY: Well, it starts to beep. It's -- when the power runs out, you get to the point where you have to change the batteries. And this is what the batteries look like, and they're good for about 10 hours.

KARL: Yes.

CHENEY: It starts to beep when the -- you know -- and it -- when I do this, of course --


KARL: Yes, I think you should put it back in. Yes, yes.


CHENEY: We don't want to --

KARL: That would not be a good thing.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: That was Dick Cheney two years ago with our Jon Karl, showing off that pump that kept him alive until he got a new heart in 2012. And he's written all about this remarkable experience in a new book called "Heart," written with this cardiologist, Dr. Jonathan Reiner.

We're back now with the former vice president.

You were having a little fun there with Jon Karl --


CHENEY: A little bit.


STEPHANOPOULOS: But you know, one of the most moving parts of the book is when you write about those days before you got the pump and your days were literally numbered, counting the days, maybe even counting the hours of -- until your heart would give out, and you write that you were at peace with that.

Yet now, you're back to, you know, something more like everyone else has all the time, since this transplant, an open-ended life.

And I just wonder if you can describe what that feels like, to go from having your days literally numbered to being open-ended again?

CHENEY: It's -- as my doctor said, a transplant is a spiritual experience, not just for the patient but also for the crew, the surgical team. It's -- I wake up every morning literally with a smile on my face, grateful for another day I never thought I would see.

And the other thing that comes through loud and clear after you've been through something like that is you don't sweat the small stuff, and everything else is small stuff.


STEPHANOPOULOS: It really does work?

CHENEY: It really does work.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And what did this all teach you -- you talk about a 35 years of medical innovation.

What did it all teach you about the American health care system?

CHENEY: Well, the system we have is the best in the world by far, a lot of debate about it and so forth, but the fact is, from the time I had my first heart attack in 1978, most of the things that saved my life hadn't been invented yet.

And over the last 40 years, we've reduced the incidence of death from heart disease by 50 percent or 60 percent because of innovation in medicines, in procedures, in devices.

And what I worry about very much is that the current debate over ObamaCare, that ObamaCare itself may damage that innovation machine that we've created out there.

There is hope; the message in the book is about hope. It's not just about me; we use my case to tell a story of those developments, but there are 80 million Americans out there that have some form of heart disease.

And what they learn from the book is that there are treatments for a great deal of that. And in my case, you could go all the way through it and if you're lucky enough to get a transplant and to survive that long, all of that disease goes away and you get a fresh start.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We got a lot of questions about that as well, some saying -- suggesting, you know, well, yes, it worked for you because you were able to pay for it.

And the viewers also did want to know about the transplant; one for example, Patti Pace Blabaum said, "It's my understanding that heart transplants are rarely done on patients 70 years of age or older.

"Can you explain how it came to be you were one of the lucky ones?"

CHENEY: Well, age isn't the only criteria. The fact is the older patient has a less likely possibility for rejection. Your immune system isn't as powerful when you get older. It really depends upon the overall state of your health, if you've got some other serious health problem, you're not going to be a candidate for a transplant.

But I had to meet all the same standards as everybody else did; I made -- I made a point of making that to my team, but there isn't any way you could game the system anyway. It's really set up with great integrity; it's virtually fool-proof. And I didn't jump the line or get any special treatment. In fact, the average wait is about 10 months; I waited 20 months for my heart.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You dedicate the book to your donor.

Do you think you'll ever be in contact with the donor's family?

CHENEY: There's a procedure by which you can go to a third party, in fact. And if both parties, both the donor's family and the recipient want to have contact, it's possible to set it up. They don't really encourage it, at least early on.

When I came out from under the anesthetic, I was pumped, excited, you know, I've got this gift of life; from the standpoint of the donor's family, there's (inaudible) --


CHENEY: -- terrible tragedy.

And but part of the thing to convey here in my mind is our medical system that encourages innovation is miraculous. It's because of entrepreneurship and innovation and a lot of people doing a lot of hard work.

But it's hope, not only for people who have got heart disease but all those other diseases out there that we're working on in terms of cancer, in terms of type I diabetes. And that innovation machine that is in fact our modern health care system really is a national treasure and needs to be protected.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And your recovery seems to be miraculous as well. Mr. Vice President, thanks very much.

CHENEY: Thanks, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll be right back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And our own Jim Avila will be part of that Fusion launch tomorrow. He speaks with President Obama at the White House. We're going to have that tomorrow on Fusion. And also now I want to welcome Jorge Ramos, already the lead anchor at Univision. He'll be taking on new duties at Fusion tomorrow as well. You're going to have about three or four jobs I think Jorge. But you believe this is critical this Fusion launch.

RAMOS: Only three. Only three but you can do it too George. If you can do it, I can do it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Tell us about Fusion and really what you're trying to do here.

RAMOS: I think the future is about Fusion and Fusion is about the future. Who controls the future? It's about the future of news. It's a great partnership between ABC News and Univision, content based on news, entertainment, pop culture, sports, comedy. As you know for a young audience we're trying to reach a very young audience. For them the traditional definition of news is no longer valid. So for them news could be from a Tweet to a video to a revolution to a war.

But also we want to reach people; it doesn't matter the age, who's a little tired of the traditional network, the traditional media. So in order to reach that, we also have to reach Latinos and you know right now there are 55 million Latinos and 30 years from now there are going to be 150 million Latinos. So the future is about exactly that, how to reach that part of the audience. And that's exactly what we're going to do with Fusion.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well we're looking forward to working with you. I wish we had more time right now but we don't. We'll have you come back and talk about it more, talk about it a lot elsewhere. Jorge thanks very much.

It's time now for our Sunday Spotlight shining on Joshua DuBois who had the job every morning of finding the right scriptures to help ground a president. And as he told our Cokie Roberts, it's a job he volunteered for without knowing how President Obama would respond.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: I want to say a quick word about a close friend of mine and yours, Joshua DuBois.

ROBERTS: When he was just 26 years old, Pentecostal Minister Joshua DuBois took on the job of White House outreach to the religious community.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Every morning he sends me via email a daily meditation. It has meant the world to me.

DUBOIS: I was wondering, you know, who was thinking about his spirit? Who was thinking about his soul? Instead of praying for him privately, why don't you reach out to him and send him an email with a word of encouragement? Within a few minutes he wrote back and said this is exactly what I've been looking for.

ROBERTS: DuBois is now sharing some of those daily doses of inspiration in a new book, "The President's Devotional".

You only once in the book tell us that you picked one for a specific day. And that was the day the president was to deliver the State of the Union message. Can you read us that one?

DUBOIS: Sure. So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth: it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

ROBERTS: Were you worried that he wouldn't be understood?

DUBOIS: Well there's just so much noise in our culture today. There's so many different sources of distraction and folks who either intentionally or unintentionally desire to muddle the true meaning of what we say.

ROBERTS: So I noticed an awful lot of the readings are love your enemy, feed your enemy.



ROBERTS: Hold peace. Do you think these are particularly necessary for a president?

DUBOIS: I think they're necessary for all of us really. Just from a practical perspective it's so much better to learn to love our enemies. We'll be able to get so much more done.

ROBERTS: This is one that I think should be on needlepointed on cushions in everyone's offices.

DUBOIS: Even a food is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.

ROBERTS: There you go.


ROBERTS: But the president cannot hold his peace when he's needed to speak as a nation mourned after an unthinkable tragedy.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief.

ROBERTS: You describe going to Newtown as probably the most searing experience.

DUBOIS: The president wanted me to go with him to meet with the families backstage before his speech and try to give some level of comfort to them. There were a number of parents who had pulled out the school pictures that they had just taken, right?


DUBOIS: And pointed to them. And then just collapsed. And the president just had to hold them. I was proud of him, it was also one of those moments where I was really kind of just concerned for his spirit because it has to take a lot out of a person.

ROBERTS: Making that daily list of spiritual encouragement all the more meaningful. Do you think it made him different?

DUBOIS: I would hope that he was able to tackle challenges that he faced with a greater measure of peace, knowing that God loves him. Knowing that no matter what's happening on any given day, what's happening in the news cycle, there's an eternal God who's arms are wrapped around him and that love cannot be shaken. So yeah, I think it did.

ROBERTS: For "This Week" Cokie Roberts, ABC News, Washington.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Cokie for that. And now we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice. This week the Pentagon released the name of one Marine killed in Afghanistan.

And that is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "World News with David Muir" tonight. I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."

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