This is a partial transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," August 26, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
PAUL GIGOT, HOST: With recent polls showing a strong anti-incumbent sentiment among voters, Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, stand to lose the most come November's midterm elections. Ten weeks out, can the party stem a potentially devastating electoral tide?
Ken Mehlman is chairman of the Republican National Committee. He joins me now from Washington.
Welcome to the program. Thanks for being here.
KEN MEHLMAN, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Thank you for having me. Appreciate it.
GIGOT: This week, the Republican governor of Alaska finished third in a primary with only 19 percent of the vote. Nineteen percent for an incumbent is almost unheard of. Are we watching a big anti-incumbent tide form between now and November?
MEHLMAN: Well, Paul, I think every election is going to be different. It's going to be a choice between the candidates on the ballot.
I do think that all over the country a lot of voters want change. And they want to see changes in policy. The question is what kind of change do they want?
I don't think most voters believe that their taxes ought to increase a lot. And I don't think they believe we ought to eliminate tools that are keeping us safe and weak in America on the war on terror.
But unfortunately, that is what many of the Democrats are offering. I don't think Americans are going to go there.
GIGOT: Well, Republicans ran in 2004 promising to do certain things. And they've controlled the government since that time.
They promise to reform Social Security — didn't happen; promised to make the tax cuts permanent — didn't happen; talked about tax reform and health reform — didn't happen.
What kind of a record are you going to bring to the voters this year to say, look, we deserve re-election because we've done something the last two years?
MEHLMAN: Well, as I said, I think every election will be a choice based on what's on the ballot.
Here's what I think Republicans will be able to go and say. They'll be able to go and say we reauthorize the Patriot Act, which is critical to defending America, and has helped make sure there hasn't been another attack on the country, even though the Democrats tried to block us and kill the Patriot Act.
They'll be able to say we passed tax cuts again this year. The fifth year in a row we've had tax cuts signed into law, even though the Democrats opposed us.
They'll be able to say we put forward outstanding nominees, like Sam Alito and John Roberts on the court, even though many Democrats believe that we ought to have a litmus test against people who want to interpret the law on the court.
We'll be able to say, for the first time in a generation, we've passed tort reform and a comprehensive energy strategy, even though Democrats oppose it.
We'll be able to say that Americans no longer will have to choose between prescription drugs and food for their families or for electricity bills, even though Democrats opposed that too.
And we'll able to say fundamentally — each election being different -- there's a national choice. And the choice is do you believe that critical tools, like the Patriot Act, like the surveillance program, like missile defense — all of those tools that are keeping us safe as we face a global war against an Islamic fascist enemy — should we weaken those tools? Should we eliminate those tools? That would make Americans less safe.