'This Week' Transcript: WH Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Sen. Lindsey Graham

WILL: Not a bit. It reduces the deficit because you have ten years of taxes and six years of benefits and other accounting gimmicks. You have said a moment ago essentially what Mr. Axelrod said there, which is, gosh, the American people like elements of this bill so let's pass this bill. I like sauerkraut and I like ice cream. I don't like sauerkraut ice cream. When you put this mish-mash together -- the public has looked at it. Now, Nancy Pelosi said this week, we have to pass this bill so we can find out what's in it. I think the American people already know what's in it.

DUNN: I'm not actually sure you ever tried sauerkraut ice cream and I'm not sure anybody has.

TAPPER: It is quite scrumptious.


DUNN: It could be very good.

I think the reality is that the American people want health reform. We've all seen bills that pass Congress in a very divided atmosphere. NAFTA is a good example. Frankly, Medicare part D when it passed was not all that popular either.

TAPPER: The prescription drug benefit.

DUNN: The prescription drug, (inaudible) unfunded entitlement, when a vote was held open for five hours on the House floor in order to browbeat somebody into passing it, under the Republicans in this last Congress.

Here is the deal. The American people want health reform. We believe that when this is passed and becomes law, it will be a popular bill, and it will be popular because it does reduce costs. And it's not just accounting gimmicks.

The Republicans like to quote CBO when they're talking about costs. They don't like to quote CBO when they're talking about the cost savings. They have estimated that in the second ten years out, the savings will be over one trillion dollars. And of course, CBO can't even calculate the savings from some of the private-sector savings.

So the reality of is it's going to reduce costs. That average Americans are going to get a tax credit. Small businesses will get a tax credit. Americans will be able to have the same choices that their members of Congress have. Those are good things.

TAPPER: Here's a question, and both you and David Axelrod earlier today, you're making the case for the bill. I don't begrudge that. That's one of the reasons why you're here. You're making the case for the bill. It's a year later. Why do you still have to be making the case for this bill?

DUNN: There's a reason nobody has been able to do this for 70 years. It's a big, big thing to do. It's an important thing to do, but it's definitely a tough thing to do.


GILLESPIE: It's a big, big tax increase of $500 billion. It's a big, big cut in Medicare of $500 billion. It's the Louisiana purchase. It is the Cornhusker Kickback. It's the sweetheart deal for the unions.


TAPPER: Let's be fair, the Cornhusker Kickback and the sweetheart deal for the unions they say are going to be removed.

GILLESPIE: They say are going to be removed. Look, this is the classic-- the Senate bill -- this is the problem they have, by the way. It's not Democrats versus Republicans right now. This is House versus Senate, trying to get these House members to--

ROBERTS: As you well know, it's much more vicious than Democrats versus Republicans.

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