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

WILL: There are big differences among the White House staff, in any White House staff. But all White House staffs have one thing in common. Every one of them was hired by the president. If they're having problems, it's because of the man who hired them.

GILLESPIE: I think that President Obama might consider firing his own press secretary and hiring Rahm Emanuel's press secretary.


GILLESPIE: Rahm's done an incredible job of getting his take on things out in these magazines this week and in the Washington Post.

Look, I have got to tell you, I couldn't imagine having to go and sit at the senior staff table every morning and think, gees, who around here is going to leak something on me in the Washington Post or the New York Times? It's debilitating, it is demoralizing. And I think it reflects the kind of year they have had. They reached the point of exhaustion to a certain extent and a point where they have got to wonder, how did we get here?


ROBERTS: You have White House intrigue stories when things are going badly. When things are going well, it's a well-oiled machine and everything is, you know, and everyone is behaving well and all that. When things start to fall apart, you get these stories. And--

TAPPER: Except in the Bush White House, things started to fall apart, and the only people really casting aspersions on people inside the building were people who had left. Scott McClellan--

GILLESPIE: At least they waited until they left.


TAPPER: Paul O'Neill. I mean, you--

GILLESPIE: That's a decent thing to be -- that's a decent way to be indecent.


TAPPER: You did heave leaks from the Pentagon, though. I mean, you did have people--

GILLESPIE: There were leaks from agencies and things, but the White House was airtight. It really was. And I --

ROBERTS: Which was just disgusting. I mean--


ROBERTS: -- who needs an airtight White House when you're reporting on Washington?


DUNN: The reality is that I don't think people sit at that senior staff meeting in the morning and worry about this. Rahm has never been shy about making his views known in this town, whether he was a political operative or whether he was a member of the House, or whether he has been the president's chief of staff. The real question is, what happens once the president's made a decision? And there's no one in this town who can say that Rahm's given less than 110 percent to this president's agenda.

TAPPER: And this is a perfect segue for this delicious film clip that one of our researchers found. This is from a 2008 documentary called "Taking the Hill" about members of -- veterans running for office. And here's then Congressman Rahm Emanuel visiting then candidate Eric Massa in upstate New York, telling him -- giving him advice on how to be a better candidate.


MASSA: Congressman. Thank you, sir.

EMANUEL: How are you.

MASSA: Thank you for being here today.

EMANUEL: No problem, how are you doing?

MASSA: I'm doing well.

EMANUEL: I don't want you tonight on TV to be angry.

MASSA: All right.

EMANUEL: OK, just take it down a notch.



MASSA: I never had an admiral walk on my ship that wasn't inspecting me.

He wants to fine-tune me, he wants to refine me, and my problem is, I am who I am, and that's -- I'm not very refinable.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...