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

AXELROD: Health care, Jake, health care deserves an up or down vote, and health care will get an up or down vote. Remember, we already had up or down votes in the House and Senate, 60 votes in the Senate, the bill passed the House as well. Now the question is do we pass the requisite improvements to this bill, corrections to this bill to make it even stronger, and I think we will.

TAPPER: So the parliamentary stuff doesn't matter. It's just a question of whether or not the overall package--

AXELROD: What does matter is that people cast or are allowed to cast an up or down vote on the future of health insurance reform in this country. We have had a year. Enough game playing, enough maneuvering. Let's have the up or down vote and give the American people the future they deserve.

TAPPER: I want to change to a couple of other subjects. First of all, President Obama during his state of the union address criticized the Supreme Court decision, with the Supreme Court sitting there. This week, Chief Justice John Roberts had this to say about how he felt at the time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering, while the court, according to the requirements of protocol, has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Doesn't Justice Roberts have a point? Not on the substance of what President Obama was saying about the decision, obviously the president can say whatever he wants. But doesn't he have a point about the appropriateness of that setting?

AXELROD: You know, I really don't think so, and I think Justice Roberts is a student of history. You know, if he looks back 100 years, Theodore Roosevelt said of Oliver Wendell Holmes after he made a decision on an antitrust case that he didn't believe in, that Roosevelt thought was a bad decision, he said, I could carve out of a banana a judge with a stronger spine than him. So things have been said about justices by presidents in the past that were far more personal than anything the president said here. But thinking about Teddy Roosevelt, I wonder what he would think about a bill that essentially allows for a corporate takeover of our elections, or a court decision. And that's what we're dealing with here. Under the ruling of the Supreme Court, any lobbyist could go into any legislator and say, if you don't vote our way on this bill, we're going to run a million-dollar campaign against you in your district. And that is a threat to our democracy. It's going to further reduce the voice of the American people, and it's something we have to push back vigorously on.

TAPPER: All right, last question. Vice President Biden went to Israel this week and he was greeted by a slap in the face, the announcement by the Israeli government of the approval of new housing units in an Arab section of Jerusalem. President Obama was said to be very upset about it. Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton made very strong comments about it. Will there be any consequences, tangible consequences beyond the tough talk? And does Israel's intransigence on the housing issue put the lives of U.S. troops at risk?

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Sabrina Allen is shown in this photo provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
PHOTO: Adam Sandler arrives at the premiere of Men, Women & Children at The Directors Guild of America, Sept. 30, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP Photo
Lovable Panda Triplets Get Named
ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images
PHOTO: Video recorded Sept. 21, 2014 in Okanogan County, Wash. shows a black bear scratching its back against a tree.
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife