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

GILLESPIE: Dick Armey, when he was the majority leader, said -- would tell the caucus, remember, the Democrats are our opponents; the Senate is our enemy. And that's what we're seeing right now. And these House members are going to vote for that, whether they like it or not. They can't pretend they're not, and then say, oh, we're going to erase it later, we're going to fix it. And the check is in the mail.

ROBERTS: The truth is, the reason it's a year later, is that they totally lost control of the message, and they, instead of going out and saying what they're saying now about the uninsured and all of that, it got all bollixed up in the public option and all kinds of terms that nobody had a clue of what they meant. And it was irrelevant to the much bigger picture. And that was the fault of the White House and the Democrats in Congress.

WILL: The theory of reconciliation is that the House will vote for a bill full of things they hate and the public hates, and later they'll clean it up. They will vote against those things. 2004, John Kerry got in terrible trouble by having said I voted for this before I voted against this. Every Democrat running this fall is going to have to say, well, I'm going to vote -- I have voted against it or I am going to vote against it, even though I voted for it. Now, that is just not good politics.

ROBERTS: Well, except that it might be good substance. And the truth is, American business and American states can no longer afford the health care they're paying. And unless something is done, it really does affect our competitiveness. And I think in the end, that that will be the argument that makes the difference. But the process argument right now is clearly going to be very difficult.

TAPPER: Speaking of the process argument, in the last few weeks, this town has been obsessed with this palace intrigue story of whether or not the fact that the bill has had such troubles getting passed, is the fault of the president's advisers, whether David Axelrod, who was here earlier, or White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. In fact, Rahm, if you look at the covers of the New York Times magazine and the New Republic, he is quite the cover boy. And Anita, having worked with these two men, Axelrod portrayed as something of the president's liberal conscience, Emanuel portrayed as the pragmatic deal maker. Is this story of in-fighting and palace intrigue, is it fair?

DUNN: It's a very overblown story. Are there disagreements among the president's advisers? Of course. They're human beings and everybody brings different things to the table.

But you know, David and Rahm, who are very old friends, are kind of like the Oscar and Felix of the White House. Right? They are different stylistically, but they're not all that different when it comes to their approach. And where they are totally united is in their commitment to the president and what he wants to get done.

So I think these stories, you know, when things -- when White Houses hit a rough patch in this town, people go from being smart to being stupid in about a nanosecond. And I think that's kind of where we are right now. I'll put myself in the realms of the stupid right now, but the reality is that I think this is one of the more overblown stories you're going to see.

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