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

To suggest that Scott Brown is basically campaigning against the bill in Washington that is like the one in Massachusetts is complete spin. I've been in bipartisan deals, I was in the "gang of 14" to stop the Senate from blowing up when the Republicans wanted to change the rules and use the majority vote to get judges through.

If they do this, it's going to poison the well for anything else they would like to achieve this year or thereafter.

TAPPER: I want to move on to a couple of other topics because you've been involved as the White House's best friend among Senate Republicans in a lot of ways, working with Democrats and independent Senator Joe Lieberman on energy and climate change legislation, on closing Guantanamo, and other matters.

You met with President Obama on Thursday, in fact, to talk about immigration reform. After the meeting, President Obama said his commitment to the issue was unwavering, but he needs you to bring Republican votes. Can you bring Republican votes and what is your take on his commitment being unwavering?

GRAHAM: Well, I have worked with this administration to solve hard problems because I want to for the good of the people of the country and for the state of South Carolina. But this idea that the president has been unwavering on immigration doesn't really pass the smell test.

One line in the State of the Union that was unnoticeable is not unwavering. A hastily called meeting Thursday because of a rally next weekend is not unwavering, is CYA. Unwavering is sending two cabinet members over to the House and the Senate two hours a day for two months with dozens of senators trying to write a bill.

That's what President Bush did. President Obama has not been unwavering on immigration reform. He has pretty much ignored it because he has been consumed by health care. And there will be no way we'll be able to go to the Senate after you blow it up with risk-averse Democrats and Republicans upset to deal with something as important and controversial as immigration.

Chuck Schumer has been a great partner. We're going to release a document soon about our way forward on immigration. He understands the politics and the substance. But this idea that this administration has been unwavering on immigration reform is just political spin and the people at the rally ought to know that.

TAPPER: Well, the leader of the Republican charge, other than President Bush, for immigration reform last time was your dear friend Senator John McCain, who, as far as I can tell, is completely AWOL from the debate.

I know he has a tough primary against a more conservative -- arguably more conservative challenger there. But shouldn't -- I mean, where -- what is his commitment? It certainly doesn't look unwavering.

GRAHAM: Well, to me, his commitment is what it has always been. He has done the heavy lifting on immigration. He has been fighting the health care bill that the country dislikes and Republicans can't tolerate. He has fought the stimulus package. And he has worked with the president on (INAUDIBLE).

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