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

It's about leadership. There are people on the right and the left -- Joe Lieberman got ran out of the Democratic Party trying to work with President Bush on the war. Blanche Lincoln has a political opponent because she was against the public option. That's the way it is.

There are plenty of Republicans -- Corker was trying to work with Dodd on financial regulation.

The environment that exists today -- President Obama promised to come to Washington to deliver change we can believe in. The way he's doing things; the way he's governing on this health care bill, this arrogance, ignoring the American people and trying to jam through a bill that nobody likes and deal out Republicans, is going to make it virtually impossible for me or anyone else.

I've been working with Lieberman and Kerry. We've come a long way on the climate-energy issue. This is one issue where the president's been great. He's saying all the right things to give us a chance to become energy independent, clean up the air and create jobs. But when it comes to health care, he's been tone deaf; he's been arrogant; and they are pushing a legislative proposal and a way to do that legislative proposal that's going to destroy the ability of this country to work together for a very long time.

And that's not necessary. There's a better way. Get a field goal, Mr. President, on health care; then let's go to energy and climate, do financial regulation and let's try to work together to reform our laws and close Gitmo.

TAPPER: Well, let's talk about Gitmo in the couple minutes we have left. You have proposed a deal to the White House that, in exchange for their canceling plans to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other alleged 9/11 plotters in criminal civilian courts and instead put them in a military commission, you can help them close Guantanamo.

But here's a quote from one of your colleagues, Republican Senator Jim Inhofe. He said, "Don't be fooled. If anyone tells you they do not want terrorist detainees in the United States but they want to close Gitmo. Closing Gitmo will result in terrorist detainees being sent to U.S. soil, gaining U.S. constitutional rights reserved for our citizens and increasing risk of terrorist activity in this country."

That is a -- that is a not unpopular belief among Republican senators. What's your argument back to Senator Inhofe?

GRAHAM: Well, there's plenty of Democrats who oppose closing Gitmo. My argument back to Senator Inhofe and to the American people is it's not just about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed coming back into military court. It was a major misstep to put him in civilian court in New York. It made no sense.

We need laws on the books that will allow terrorist detainees to be held without trial, give them due process, treat them as any prisoners, not common criminals. We need laws on the books that, if a judge orders ones of these terrorists released, they won't be released into the United States.

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