'This Week' Transcript: Jon Huntsman, Plus Analysis of the ABC News Iowa Debate


AMANPOUR: So do you think, George, that anybody could say, mission accomplished? I mean, it's interesting. We have seen the polls. We know Newt Gingrich is ahead of Mitt Romney. We've got Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in a virtual tie, neck and neck. But about two-thirds, according to a New York Times poll, say -- those who plan to attend the Iowa caucuses -- say they still haven't made up their minds.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, from last night, no question, Newt Gingrich had mission accomplished. He has one more debate between now and the Iowa caucuses, 23 days to go, as Diane said. And nothing happened last night that would make it -- that would stop his momentum. Nothing we saw right now, and I think he also effectively handled the question that's on the minds of Iowa voters, the question of his marriages. The way he talked about redemption, I think certainly helped him last night.

I think Michele Bachmann was mission accomplished last night. We'll see if she's going to be able to capitalize on this Newt, I mean, Newt Romney attack. And no one, I guess with the exception of Romney -- we'll have to see how this bet plays out -- I think really hurt themselves. What you'll have to watch now is see whether of the three, Bachmann, Santorum and Perry, which one of them really starts to galvanize the conservative support, can any one of them get enough support to jump into that top tier?

SAWYER: And again, Ron Paul.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He's steady, he's steady right at 18 to 20 percent.

AMANPOUR: So, Diane, for you finally, what was do you think the take-away, the most revealing moment for you?

SAWYER: The vitality on the stage. We said at the beginning the marathon run it is to run for president. But I have to tell you, first of all, they have great immune systems. Somebody is coughing and hacking their way into the debate, because they came out strapping, they came out ready, and they have been on the trail a long time and this is the end of this long, winding road into January.

I think you can't always experience on television just the sheer physical vitality of all these candidates.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, there was a lot of energy in the room last night. I think both Diane and I were surprised, it must have felt a little bit different on television than it felt in the room, by how that whole bet exchange took off online. You know, because in some ways, Governor Romney was just so aggressive with it. It seemed like it might have been a strong moment, but boy, that $10,000 online really popped.

AMANPOUR: All right, both of you, thank you very much indeed, George and Diane. See you all later.

And up next, the man who wasn't there, Jon Huntsman joins us next from Manchester, New Hampshire, where he's gunning to be the real comeback kid of 2012.


AMANPOUR: Six candidates faced off in Des Moines last night, but Jon Huntsman wasn't one of them. The former Utah governor, who entered this campaign with enormous fanfare, has failed to qualify for a spot on the debate stage. Iowa isn't part of the Huntsman strategy, though. He has put all of his firepower into New Hampshire. And he joins us this morning from Manchester. Governor, thank you for joining us. Let me quickly ask you, I'm sure you do not want to get into who won, who lost, but who do you think won on the stage last night?

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