'This Week' Transcript: GOP Candidate Rick Santorum and Rep. Barney Frank

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(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): THIS WEEK: The Gingrich surge.

NEWT GINGRICH, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: While I was hoping for a wave, we've hit sort of a tsunami.

AMANPOUR: And just last night, The Des Moines Register poll shows Newt is number one. But can he stay there?

Curtains for Cain.

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am at the peace with my wife. And she is at peace with me.

AMANPOUR: Defiant but defeated, the pizza mogul calls it quits.

So is Rick Santorum the right's hero in waiting?

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: If voters start kind of shifting gears and decided they want ideological consistency, then they're going to start paying attention to, say, Rick Santorum.

AMANPOUR: Senator Santorum is right here to discuss his uphill road to the nomination.

And our "Roundtable" will rate his chances in this topsy-turvy race.

Also today, a Democrat who has campaigned enough for one lifetime.

FRANK: One of the advantages to me of not running for office is, I don't even have to pretend to try to be nice to people I don't like.

AMANPOUR: We'll ask the ever-quotable Barney Frank whether Washington will ever get back to business.

And later, Angelina Jolie on her new film about the war in Bosnia, a conflict I covered firsthand.

ANNOUNCER: Live from Newseum in Washington, THIS WEEK WITH CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Good morning. And welcome to the program. We have lots to get to today, but first some news in your morning papers.

Mayhem in Oklahoma last night after thousands of overexcited Oklahoma State football fans stormed the field and tore down the goalposts after the team's big win. Some people were trampled. One person fell 15 feet on to concrete. Thirteen people were taken on the hospital, including two with critical injuries.

In Germany, 45,000 residents of the city of Koblenz will be evacuated today as experts prepared to detonate a massive World War II-era bomb that was discovered in the Rhine River. And it was discovered after weeks without rain, which caused the water levels to drop.

In the presidential race, new proof the ground has once again shifted. Look at the new Des Moines Register poll. Newt Gingrich is on top with 25 percent. Ron Paul in second place with 18 percent. In third place, Mitt Romney at 16 percent. Eleven percent remain undecided. The other candidates are all in single digits.

The poll marks a new stage in the campaign, just one month before the all-important Iowa Caucuses. And here, as always, to guide us through the political jungle is our man, Jon Karl, with "THIS WEEK in Politics."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONATHAN KARL, ABC SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was the week it started to look like Mitt Romney could actually lose. Just look at the cover of TIME magazine or ask Newt Gingrich.

GINGRICH: I'm going to be the nominee. I mean, it's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee.

KARL: Maybe. Maybe not. But Romney's week started with this blast from the DNC.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The story of two men trapped in one body: "Mitt versus Mitt."

KARL: On Tuesday, he once again brushed off questions from reporters.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You ask me at press avails and press conferences almost every day and...

KARL: Not true. Romney has had only six press availabilities over the past two months. He has refused interviews with TIME magazine and The New York Times, and hasn't done a Sunday show in almost two years. He has even spent less time on FOX News than any of the others.

ROMNEY: You're wrong, Bret.

BRET BAIER, FOX ANCHOR: No, no, I mean, there are statements...

ROMNEY: No, Bret, Bret, no...

KARL: When he finally sat down with FOX's Bret Baier on Wednesday, it got ugly.

BAIER: Your critics charge that you make decisions based on political expediency and not core conviction. How can voters trust what they hear from you today is what you believe if you win the White House?

ROMNEY: Well, Bret, your list is just not accurate. So, one, we're going to have to be better informed about my views on issues. KARL: Romney grew and grew more irritated.

ROMNEY: This is an unusual interview. All right. Let's do it again.

KARL: But a much more confident Newt Gingrich feeling like a celebrity.

GINGRICH: I did no lobbying of any kind, period. For a practical reason, I was charging $60,000 a speech. And the number of speeches was going up, not down. Normally celebrities leave and they gradually sell fewer speeches every year. We were selling more.

KARL: But this week Ron Paul said it is Newt who is the biggest flip-flopper of all, hitting him with a brutal Web video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're an embarrassment to our party.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has flipped and flopped based on who is paying him.

KARL: And this was the week the once high-flying Herman Cain called it quits.

CAIN: I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction.

KARL: The latest allegations, this time a 13-year affair proved to be too much. But the wheels had already been coming off. Cain plummeting from a front-running 23 points in Iowa in October, to single digits.

As for President Obama, he enjoyed something unusual of late, good economic news. That brings us to "Trending." Up, retail sales and the stock market. Down, the unemployment rate. But in part because more than 200,000 people stopped looking for work.

Down, Rick Perry, again.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oops.

KARL: Doesn't seem to know the voting age or the Election Day.

PERRY: Those of you that are -- will be 21...

(BUZZER)

PERRY: ... by November the 12th...

(BUZZER)

PERRY: ... I ask for your support and your vote.

KARL: Up, Ron Paul, gaining ground in Iowa and emerging as Newt's toughest critic. Down and out, Herman Cain meets with his wife and calls it quits. CAIN: God bless you and thank you.

KARL: With "THIS WEEK in Politics," I'm Jonathan Karl -- Christiane.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Thank you, Jon.

And a big question this morning, where will all those Herman Cain voters go? Our headliner today hopes they flock straight to him. He's former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. He has spent more time in Iowa than any other candidate, visiting all 99 counties. And he joins me now.

Senator, thank you for being here.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Talking about Iowa, you're staking your campaign on that. But you must have seen the latest, The Des Moines Register poll. It's not encouraging, 6 percent. Tied for last.

SANTORUM: That's -- well, it's better than it was before. I mean, if you look at every poll, we keep moving up, moving up slowly. But we're within the margin of error of both Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, both of whom have had enormous attention by the national media, and have had money and resources.

Rick Perry is running literally million of dollars of ads in Iowa, and he is right next to me in the polls. So I'm actually encouraged that the people of Iowa, as they go down to the end here, start looking at all the candidates.

We think we're going to do very, very well. We have a very strong, consistent conservative message that matches up better with Iowans than anybody else. And we think we're going to surprise a lot of people.

AMANPOUR: You talk about a strong, consistent conservative message. And a lot of people do say, yes, he does, however, we are very concerned. He lost his election in Pennsylvania by a landslide, 20 points. He is not electable.

Everybody has had a bit of a boomlet, but not you.

SANTORUM: Well, that's a good thing. That's a great thing not to have had it. We still have almost -- we have a month to go before the election. And as you know, Christiane, that's a lifetime in politics.

So if you look at all of these little boomlets, they last about four to six weeks. Newt is in about week three. So we feel pretty good that, you know, come the middle of December and toward the end of December, as candidates are looking for a candidate they can trust, someone that is authentic, someone who knows what they believe in and why they believe it, and has a record to back up the rhetoric as to what they want to do to change this country, because we do need big changes, well, who has been doing that?

Who has been out there? Who has been, you know, fighting city hall, if you will, and having success at doing it? We've got the good track record and I think that's going to pay off in the end.

AMANPOUR: Where do you have to be after January 3rd? What is a good showing for you, a threshold?

SANTORUM: Well, given everybody is sitting here predicting me to finish last or next to last, obviously...

AMANPOUR: Yes, but to stay in the race?

SANTORUM: Well, I think we need a surprise. I mean, we need to finish ahead of several candidates. And, look, I think we have a very good chance of winning Iowa. I know people...

AMANPOUR: Really?

SANTORUM: Yes, I do. I really do. We...

AMANPOUR: Kind of, you would say that, wouldn't you, though?

SANTORUM: No. I believe it. I really do. I know when we -- we're doing all sorts of phone calls in our office, and what we're hearing is that, still, 60, 70 percent of the people in Iowa are still undecided.

You can read these polls, but that's who they're for in the moment, and...

AMANPOUR: The latest poll says 11 percent undecided.

SANTORUM: Yes, but if you talk to people and they say, you know, who -- are you really committed? And they say, well, no, I mean, we're still open to other candidates.

And, again, the calls we're making, we're still hearing a high percentage of undecideds, people still trying to find out more about the candidates. And remember, this is a caucus, not a primary.

You're talking about activists who are going to go out. And we've spent the time in the state, we've talked to the activists. We've got people lined up to be our caucus captains at all of these little caucus locations.

About a third of the people that come to the caucuses come there undecided. That's what the polls have said. And we'll have people at those caucuses advocating for us because I've been in their county. They know my message. They know what I want to accomplish.

It has been strong message of pro-growth, family values, strong national security. And I think it's going to do well. AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about your family.

SANTORUM: Yes.

AMANPOUR: You are very public about your seven children. You've been very public and have been very emotional, of course, talking about your young daughter, Bella, you, you've said, has basically a life that's measured in days and weeks.

SANTORUM: Well, it certainly is according to the medical statistics. But we've been very blessed. I mean, she is three-and-a- half years of age, you know, I was with her last night, got a chance to spend some time with her.

SANTORUM: She's an absolute joy. She's really the center of our lives. And we feel so blessed to have her.

AMANPOUR: And as a mother, I just wonder how you can keep going and how you justify this with so much personal toll at home?

SANTORUM: Yeah, well, as we all know...

AMANPOUR: Given the polls.

SANTORUM: Yeah, no, I understand. Well, I don't worry about the -- again I don't worry about the polls, I worry about what I'm trying to do to be the best father and husband I can be. And obviously a big part of that is making sure that we have a country that respects her life and a country that is free and safe and prosperous for all of my children.

And I just felt like given this is really I believe the most critical election in the history of the country that I had to step up and make sacrifices, like everybody does, to make our country a better country.

AMANPOUR: You're obviously very committed to the conservative principals that you talk about, however it looks like -- you at who's at the top here, they're not the most conservative. The most conservatives are at the bottom in Iowa. Is there something different about this election cycle? I mean, these conservative issues are not gaining the kind of traction that one might expect.

SANTORUM: I think people are suaded more by people who is getting attention than necessarily the specific issues. I think people want someone who can beat Barack Obama. And that's the focus.

So when people talk about winnability, really you have to look at the other candidates. I mean, Newt Gingrich is always running a heavily Republican congressional district in Georgia and struggled at times to win that. So if you're looking for someone who can pull together people and still be a conservative, I've got the record to do that. AMANPOUR: So let me ask you about Newt Gingrich who is at the top, a breakaway, some 25 percent according to the Des Moines Register poll. But in terms of social issues, he, you know, has been married three times, he has two divorces. He's admitted to infidelity, should voters hold him against him? Is that relevant? SANTORUM: Oh, I think character is definitely an issue. You know, I think they have to make a decision based upon the person's entire record. And certainly character counts.

And I think they look at -- you know, I have been married 21 years. I have 7 children, that's a factor that people are going to look at and should look at when it comes to the person you're going to have to lead the country. This is not someone who just...

AMANPOUR: Is he a real conservative with the social values that...

SANTORUM: I think Newt has consistently put those in the back of the bus. He has never really been an advocate of pushing those issues. Newt is someone who likes to get issues that are 80 to 90 percent of the polls. And 80 percent of the polls are generally not necessarily conservative, strong conservative issues. But that's how Newt has always tried to govern. And I respect that, that's certainly a way to do so. I tend to take the position that it's important to lead with what you believe is right for America and try to bring the American public along instead of trying to find where everybody is and then try to do that. AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about Herman Cain who obviously has dropped out. And you hope to be the beneficiary, I'm sure all the candidates do. Was it inevitable, did he have to drop out after all these women came out of the woodwork?

SANTORUM: My heart went out -- goes out to all of the candidates for what they have to go through and Herman has gone through a very, very difficult time for himself and his family. And I think he made the right decision to leave for his family and for the country. It was clearly a distraction that was not going to go away. And again I feel bad for Herman, I really do and his family in particular. And I hope that they can get well.

AMANPOUR: Mitt Romney who is the putative front-runner, and certainly in polls, it shows that in a national election, he would have the most electability. And yet a lot of writers are saying that he's moved consistently conservative now. And on some issues, more than previous...

SANTORUM: No, no. There's no question that Mitt has moved. The question is, you know, what's the sincerity of the move and whether he can be trusted? And that's one of the reasons I talk so much about looking at the candidate's record in determining what the best indication of what someone is going to do in the future is what they've done in the past.

AMANPOUR: Senator Santorum, thank you very much for being here.

SANTORUM: Thank you, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: And we turn now to our roundtable. I'm joined by George Will, Arianna Huffington of AOL Huffington Post, National Journal's Major Garrett, and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile. Welcome all to This Week.

George, Rick Santorum hoping to get a boost from Herman Cain's supporters. Is that viable for him? Will he, do you think?

GEORGE WILL, COLUMNIST: Sure, he's playing the Iowa game by the traditional rules. And I think there's an interesting contrast between Santorum's fate and Cain's fate. We want a process that allows a dark horse like Santorum, someone who has been seriously engaged in national politics to gain traction if he has time, hence a small state like Iowa should lead this process.

I think, however, and I wonder if Donna agrees, that between now and 2016, both parties have to do some serious thought as to whether they can develop some filter to prevent this process, particularly with made proliferation of debates from being hijacked by charlatans, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial charlatans.

AMANPOUR: Who would you label as one of those?

WILL: Well, the one who dropped out, Mr. Cain, who used this as a book tour in a fundamentally disrespectful approach to the selection of presidents. Now, we have a December 27th debate proposed that would be moderated by Donald Trump. Surely it is time for these candidates to do something presidential, stand up and say we're not going to be hijacked and participate in this.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, HUFFINGTON POST: When Jon Huntsman did that, he said he will not participate in the debate. And I completely agree with George. I mean, the lines (inaudible) and the campaign process have been getting thinner and thinner. And now I mean, we've -- the breathless way in which the media awaited the news of Herman Cain suspension of his campaign, were really amazing. I mean basically, right now, we should give them a reality show, keeping up the Cains. And hashtag #winningbackmrscain. And really make it a reality show.

How do you win back Gloria?

MAJOR GARRETT, NATIONAL JOURNAL: Question: what will become of Rick Santorum? Historically, three tickets out of Iowa. We figure Romney is going to have one, Ron Paul will have one. Ron Paul will finish first, second, no worse than third in Iowa. I guarantee you his people are ferocious, organized, and they mean business.

So what does Santorum need to do to get maybe that third-and-a- half ticket? Well, he's got to get over 10 percent, or at least 12 or 13, that's long journey. And he has made very little progress of that kind yet.

AMANPOUR: Let me put something up that actually Glenn Beck has said about him, because he's obviously picked up conservative support as we've been saying. Both Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck have gone public. Look what Glenn Beck said about Santorum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, RADIO SHOW HOST: If there was one guy out there that's the next George Washington the only guy that I could think of is Rick Santorum. I would ask that you would take a look at him...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Well, characteristically over the top: George Washington.

GARRETT: In that they're both property owners in Virginia.

AMANPOUR: In that Rick Santorum is obviously perhaps the beneficiary of the conservative right still looking for a candidate.

GARRETT: Yeah, and I think Sarah Palin's comments about Rick Santorum indicate that she's still trying to attack the party for crony capitalism or folks who work both sides of the line and that's directly what she's saying about Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich is rising. Sarah Palin is not moving in his direction. She's sending a signal to her supporters he's not authentic enough. She's saying Santorum might be.

But look, Santorum has traveled all of Iowa and he's still gaining no traction. There's a reason for that.

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: At this point in the contest, the rank and file of the Republican base, they're so angry, so upset, they'll back anyone at this point who is in contempt with the president. They want somebody who will stand up, express their anger, express their anger at Washington, express their dissatisfaction with the president and they reward their candidate.

What I saw in the Des Moines Register poll is that two-thirds of Republican voters are still shopping. They're not cemented. They're not ready to fall in love yet. They're still looking for that candidate who could excite them.

AMANPOUR: Well, the White House has been very aggressive against Mitt Romney, thinking that he was going to be in. Maybe he still will be the nominee. Are they happy that Newt Gingrich is ascendant right now? Is that better for them?

BRAZILE: Oh, Newt Leroy, as many of us refer to him, the former speaker of the House, this is the best side show that you could have in politics. Three more nationally televised debates. Then, you have the Huckabee primary which is -- Huckabee is going to try to crown someone, Palin primary. Donald Trump now, he has a debate, he has a primary.

The White House is happy that Mitt Romney will likely emerge as the plausible nominee and you know...

HUFFINGTON: I wouldn't be so certain of that, because I feel that Newt Gingrich's main adversary at the moment is Newt Gingrich. I think Newt Gingrich is likely to defeat Romney simply because Romney addresses the nation as an accountant. In conversations with your accountant are never ones you are never looking for. And Newt Gingrich has the status, this kind of (inaudible) figure of who sings of himself, celebrates himself. He's large, contains magnitude. And in times of crisis, the nation is looking for what is called a hedge hog figure as opposed to a fox figure, who slices and dices and tries to find legal loop holes to explain his multiple flip flops.

You know Gingrich is embracing all of his flip flops. Yesterday he believed that with conviction. Today this with...

AMANPOUR: And to that point, it's really being quite frustrating for prominent people in Iowa. Look at what prominent Iowa pastor said, "Newt is famous for all being all over the board. He's admirable in many ways, but I don't back him. I don't trust him."

Can Newt Gingrich turn that around in time to win in Iowa?

WILL: Well, the problem is that once you get a reputation for being changeable, no one is going to believe that you won't change what you've just said about your changes. What's worrying a lot of Republicans, Christiane, is that they think they found their Tom Dewey in Mitt Romney.

WILL: The president is going to run as Truman against Congress, but that's not how Truman got elected. Truman was elected not because he was running against Congress, but because he was running against Tom Dewey, a chilly Eastern Republican governor that people didn't cotton to.

AMANPOUR: And still, if you look deeper down into this Des Moines Register poll, by rather large margins, when it comes to most presidential or most electable in a general election, Romney surpasses Gingrich. But when it comes to most experience, most knowledge about the world, best able to bring real change, Gingrich by a big margin surpasses Romney. Is that odd?

WILL: It's weird. The fact is, I would expect that Newt Gingrich could bring the two parties together as no one else could, but they'd be together against him.

GARRETT: That's quite possible. Look, the thing for Speaker Gingrich is, everyone around this table and many Republican voters know that he lacks discipline. But Newt Gingrich doesn't need to be disciplined for eight months. He needs to be disciplined for eight weeks. That's possible. Newt Gingrich is a factor in Iowa. He's gaining in New Hampshire. He'll probably win South Carolina and he leads by a big margin in Florida. You ask yourself today, would you rather be Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney? You would rather be Newt Gingrich, because he has momentum and the momentum is real. And the one thing about Newt Gingrich, if you've ever been in a room with him, he creates an idea factory that people like to respond to. I saw this in the Obama campaign in 2008. People supported Barack Obama not just the candidate and policies, but because of the way they felt about themselves being supportive of that kind of a candidate. If you get an idea factory going, people will say, you know what, I'm an idea person, I like being around ideas. I think of myself somewhat better when I'm around Gingrich.

If that takes hold, and I'm not predicting it will, but if it does, that's the kind of thing that can overcome the lack of organization, lack of precinct captains and all that other. Excitement can matter a lot in politics. Gingrich might tap into that.

(CROSSTALK)

HUFFINGTON: -- Newt Gingrich is going to be running. There are so many of them. If you go to the Newt Gingrich of the '90s, remember, in his first speech as speaker, he said something which would be impossible to say today in the Republican primary, and I want to quote. He said, "the balanced budget is the right thing to do, but it doesn't have the moral urgency of coming to grips with what is happening to the poorest Americans." He talked about poverty. He talked about a moral responsibility. That Newt Gingrich is not at all the Newt Gingrich running now, who is comparing the labor laws for children to something (ph) that should be abolished, who is talking about poor children becoming janitors.

So we have a Gingrich 1.0, which, like Microsoft, was the best iteration. You know, the more he iterates, the worse he gets.

GARRETT: But remember, he said that as speaker, after having said something favorable about orphanages the month before, and that got him on the cover of Time magazine as the Grinch who stole Christmas. So, that speech was a reaction to something he said earlier, which is not altogether that dissimilar from what he said about child labor laws.

Now, oddly enough, in that respect, there's a component of consistency.

AMANPOUR: Let me turn to Rick Perry, because he also, and he had his boomlet, and he's now tied for last with Rick Santorum. Let's just see. He just spent a lot of money and he's put up a new ad in Iowa. Let's just listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS: When you run for president, you get a bunch of questions about your faith. People want to know what drives you, how you make decisions. Some liberals say that faith is a sign of weakness. They're wrong. I think we all need God's help.

I'm Rick Perry. I'm not ashamed to talk about my faith. And I approved this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Not ashamed to talk about his faith. Why is he getting at, why is he doing that now?

WILL: He's getting at -- and here I give my weekly disclaimer that my wife's an adviser to Mr. Perry. He's getting at the 60 percent of Republican participants in the 2008 caucuses who are evangelical Christians and who elevated Mike Huckabee.

AMANPOUR: So you think, despite your wife working for him, do you think he has a chance?

WILL: I think everyone has a chance, as long as everyone -- the majority of Iowans are still shopping.

BRAZILE: I agree with George that as long as they're still shopping and you put all these debates, these forums, these individual endorsement contests that are going on, it's still a race to see which candidate can put together the organization.

Remember, this is a cold, wintry night, and you need people who can go out and get their neighbors, their friends to come into a room and caucus.

AMANPOUR: All right, and we'll have more with our roundtable later in the program.

And coming up -- the irrepressible Barney Frank. This week, the Massachusetts Democrat announced that he's leaving Congress, but he still got plenty to say and he joins me next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANK: A parliamentary inquiry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentleman is recognized.

FRANK: His blatant hypocrisy a violation of the rules of the House...

The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Burgess, is recognized to yield time for someone who might actually want to debate the bill.

Mr. Speaker, does whining come out of my time?

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Vintage Barney Frank, one of the most outspoken and distinctive members of Congress. This week, Congressman Frank announced this term, his 16th, will be his last. He's retiring after more than 30 years in the House of Representatives. And he joins me now to discuss the Washington that he will leave behind.

Thank you for joining me, Congressman. Just want to ask you, not just the Washington you're leaving behind, but the Washington that some people hope will get back to work. You have obviously been a partisan for your team. But so many people talk about you also as a skilled negotiator, as somebody who can actually legislate and get deals done. Is that going to be possible over the next, let's say, 12, 11 months until the election?

FRANK: Well, ironically, it will be for the next 12 months, in general the problem is this, and people sometimes forget, you know, if you're in England, and they have an election, whoever gets the majority in the House of Commons on Wednesday is the prime minister on Thursday.

We have a very different Constitution. People seem to forget that. Under the American Constitution, at any one time, we're governed by the people who ran in three elections, 2006, 2008 for the president, 2010. Unusually, the American people made very different decisions, the people who voted, because there was a drop-off in the electorate. The people who got elected in 2008 have very different views from those on the whole from 2010, with a broader difference.

But here's what's happening, those who were elected in 2010, who have generally not wanted the government to play a positive role in our lives, who have felt, whether it's the environment or transportation or health care, collective action is more likely to be damaging than not. I think that's terribly wrong. But there's a great conflict.

They would be the ones who would say, OK, we're not going to let anything happen. We're going say no. We're not going to raise the debt limit. We're not going to do this. In general the people who want to say no, the people who want to do the veto, have a certain leverage, because total inaction, chaos is on their side.

AMANPOUR: So is that what...

FRANK: But unusually, in this coming year...

AMANPOUR: Sorry, I didn't...

FRANK: I was going to say, in this coming year.

AMANPOUR: Is that what you see, gridlock? Do you see gridlock in this coming year? Will some of the business that the people hope...

FRANK: No.

AMANPOUR: ... will happen, will it happen or not?

FRANK: No, that's what I was trying to say is that, unusually this year, inertia has now become a force for action in an odd way. If nothing happens this year, if Congress passes no legislation, two things will happen, all of the Bush tax cuts will expire at the end of the year. Everybody's taxes will go up, lower income, middle income, and the wealthy.

Secondly, the sequestration will go into effect, and there will be broad cuts across the board in which, for the first time in my memory, military spending reductions will be greater than the domestic because of the way it works.

What that means is this, those on the conservative side who control the House, if they continue to say, no deal unless you do everything we want, and we say, fine, we're ready to compromise but we're not just going to give in to you, then taxes go up on everybody and military spending is cut hard.

Therefore, in this unusual circumstance where bad things from the conservative standpoint will happen if nothing happens, there will have to be a deal. So I think there will be a deal. And our position, I believe, the president has articulated it, we are for extending tax cuts for most people, but not for the top 1 or 2 percent where we can make over a 10-year period hundreds of billions.

Secondly, I think Democrats -- I would be ready to live with the military cuts in the sequester, but I think there would be a majority of Democrats saying, you know what, we want some military reductions, we don't need to continue to protect Germany against Stalin, but we'll compromise.

So I think you're going to see this year, because of the consequences of inaction, an unusual situation where there will be action on both an amendment to the sequester and to the taxes.

AMANPOUR: All right, Congressman Frank, and turning to the actual general election right now, you have probably heard our "Roundtable" discussing the ups and downs of the various candidates with Newt Gingrich being most certainly up right now.

Now you did say, and I'm not sure when you said it, but you said that Newt would be the best thing to happen to Democrats since Barry Goldwater. So for the post-Goldwater generation what do you precisely mean there?

FRANK: He would be a very weak candidate. He would lose heavily and lot of Democrats would win races in which there would be a great fall-off. I think Newt Gingrich is the anti-candidate -- the split between the extremely conservative sector of America, which is the Republican presidential primary electorate, and the rest of the country, is very clear.

And I believe that a man with Gingrich's vulnerability -- if he wins the nomination it will be because Mitt Romney is understandably seen as insufficiently conservative, because Mitt insufficiently anything, if you believe in principles. And that will allow Gingrich to overcome a whole lot.

But I have to tell you, Christiane, as I look at the Republican debate, I have been casting "The Wizard of Oz." I mean, obviously Mitt Romney is the tin woodman, without the heart. And Rick Perry is clearly the scarecrow.

Let me just say about Rick Perry, he illustrates the point that what's scary about some people is what -- not what they don't know, but what they know that isn't true. I just heard this ad in which he said, some liberals say faith is a sign of weakness. That is just bizarrely delusional. I don't know any political liberal who thinks faith is a sign of weakness.

AMANPOUR: All right.

FRANK: Newt is the Wizard of Oz.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you...

FRANK: Newt is the one who...

AMANPOUR: Go ahead. FRANK: Newt, there's nothing there. I think he has ginned up this whole big thing. But when people focus on him as opposed to him being the not-Romney, this is a man who served as speaker, was very much an insider, he was twice reprimanded by the House. By the way, I was reprimanded by the House. One of the reasons I wouldn't run for president.

There's the problem with the marriages. There is this incredible hypocrisy of criticizing Chris Dodd and me because we weren't doing anything about Freddie Mac when we were in the minority. We did do when we were in the majority. And he was taking from them when the Republicans were in majority to make sure that nothing happened. I just think he's an obvious weak candidate.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask about the Democratic campaign message and the election message. You also said: "The problem in politics is this, you don't get any credit for disaster averted. Going to the voters and saying, boy things really suck, but if it wasn't for me, they would suck worse, that's not a platform on which anyone has ever gotten elected in the history of the world."

So what is -- how do you think the Obama campaign is going to get re-elected?

FRANK: Well, that is true. And that's our dilemma. We inherited this terrible economy, President Obama did. And clearly the actions taken by President Obama, by Congress when the Democrats controlled it, by the Federal Reserve, a very well-performing institution that has been unfairly demonized, things are better than they would have been.

But you don't win on that. here are two things. First of all, I think this issue of whether or not you continue to -- whether you cut taxes for the wealthiest people and instead of cut back on Social Security, Medicare, environmental protection, that doesn't work.

And, secondly, I think the Republicans are misreading -- they're under cultural lag, attacking Barack Obama for pulling out of Iraq, saying you want to do more in Afghanistan, I think the American people now understand that we are overcommitted internationally, that we don't have in terrorism a threat equivalent to international nuclear- armed communism.

And I think this insistence on more and more military spending at the expense of domestic spending will be a mistake.

AMANPOUR: Congressman Frank, thank you very much, indeed.

And up next, unemployment dips, which is good news for the president. But do the numbers tell the whole story? The roundtable returns to do the math.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: People looking for a glimmer of hope looking on jobs found something to grab onto this week. The economy added 120,000 jobs in November and unemployment dipped to 8.6 percent, the lowest level in two years. It's good news, but the numbers don't tell the whole story.

And for that, let's bring back our roundtable. George Will, Arianna Huffington, Major Garrett and Donna Brazile.

Donna, it must be great news for your team.

BRAZILE: Oh, it's wonderful news.

AMANPOUR: And you sail all the way to the election?

BRAZILE: But no one is popping champagne, because the president and the Democrats are still trying to get the Congress to pass the jobs bill. They're still trying to do everything in his executive power to get jobs created all across the country. So they're excited about it, yes, but no one is popping the champagne.

GARRETT: Two points. It's a great headline and it's very good for the president. But 315,000 Americans left the work fork, OK. They got so discouraged about their limited or non-existent job prospects they dropped out. That's why you saw this four tenths of a percent drop from 9 to 8.6 percent.

One statistic I'm obsessed about in our economic difficulties, labor force participation rate, that's people working and people looking for work. In the Obama presidency it's dropped 1.7 percent from 65.7 to 64 percent. It dropped 1.2 percent in the entire eight years of the Bush presidency. We have a structural problem not only of unemployment, but discouragement about finding employment. That is a real problem.

AMANPOUR: But as you said, politically it is an important trend, it's an important dip.

HUFFINGTON: I don't really think it is. I think Democrats are really fooling themselves if they think this is wonderful news, because that's not what people are experiencing. The truth is another number that I'm obsessed with that only 7 percent of the people who have found jobs since the financial crisis have found jobs at the level of the job they had lost. So, that means that the jobs that people are getting are low- paying jobs, they're not the kind of jobs that will keep people in the middle class. And what is happening right now is that people are dropping out of the middle class into poverty and that's really a major factor that's going to affect the Democrats in this election.

AMANPOUR: And George, one of the main factors is going affect, it could be Angela Merkel and the people in Europe. I mean, I know it doesn't get talked about much, but certainly the White House must be sweating bullets over what's happening in Europe.

WILL: Yeah. The president has already shifted his alibi machine from George W. Bush caused my problems to the European Central Bank. People knows George W. Bush, no one in America knows what the Europe Central Bank is or does. But he's right in the sense that what economists called an exogenous shock, which would be the default of Greece contagion to Portugal, Spain, Italy, something else is far more important than this. It's just one more bit of rain on this parade. 50,000 of those new jobs were retail jobs, probably seasonal hired for the Christmas season.

All that said, I disagree with Arianna, if the trend is good in 2012 as it was for Ronald Reagan where unemployment started under him at 10.8 percent, Ronald Reagan rode that raising tide of good news to a 49 state win.

HUFFINGTON: But Ronald Reagan, that's the question, are you better off now than four years ago? And Barack Obama can not ask that question and expect an answer yes. And that's really the...

BRAZILE: But he can go to the American people and say, do you want to go back to the policies that led us to this deep recession? And do you want to go back to a political party that in the midst of a recession would not lift a hand to help the middle class?

AMANPOUR: And Tim Geithner, Treasury secretary, has been back and forth to Europe again to harp on this, because it is America's biggest market, Europe. And obviously this is where the fear is coming from.

What can the, if anything, the president do, or the administration do to mitigate what's happening there?

BRAZILE: Well, Sarkozy and Merkel will be meeting tomorrow. Hopefully, they'll come up with policy that will strengthen the euro.

AMANPOUR: They want to rewrite treaties.

BRAZILE: But how much -- what's left in our tool box?

GARRETT: There's one mechanism. The European Central Bank could use the IMF as a means by which to push funding through, so then the Europeans would feel that it's the IMF and its disciplinary focus, not the European Central Bank, meaning the Germans, who are imposing new fiscal discipline and supervisorial and punishment powers all throughout the euro zone. If that in fact happened -- it's been proposed -- if that happens, that could be something the United States could do. We are the largest donor nation to the IMF, 17 percent. There is $390 billion available from the IMF to loan Europe. That's not nearly enough, but if the European Central Bank adds its resources to that, pushes it through the IMF, that could solve the problem.

WILL: Just wait until that gets cast in the political debates--

(CROSSTALK)

GARRETT: Which might be an economically wise thing to do, but politically has no validity whatsoever.

AMANPOUR: Ron Paul, we didn't talk about Ron Paul.

GARRETT: We did, I mentioned--

(CROSSTALK)

AMANPOUR: We want to carry on.

GARRETT: He is a factor in Iowa, and don't forget about it.

AMANPOUR: 18 percent is No. 2 in the Des Moines Register poll. Where do you think that that's going to take him?

BRAZILE: He has an organization. Unlike Newt Gingrich, whom I mentioned. Newt Gingrich is full of ideas. He's full of platitudes and soundbites. But Ron Paul has an organization in all these key early states. His base is enthusiastic and they will come out and support him.

WILL: He has a low ceiling but an absolutely solid floor. And on Friday, on Neil Cavuto's show on Fox News, he was asked, might you run as a third-party candidate? He says, I'm not thinking about that, I'm doing pretty well. Now, that is a studied and excellent non- denial. The fact is, he has the infrastructure in place to re-elect Mr. Obama.

HUFFINGTON: But already Newt Gingrich has been announcing new precinct captains in South Carolina. The chances are that Herman Cain's operation is going to move to Newt Gingrich. That's the expectation. Newt Gingrich created GOPAC. Newt Gingrich put together the Contract for America. It's not like he can't organize. You know, the idea that somehow Newt Gingrich is just full of ideas but he can't organize, just listen to all the members of Congress, including John Boehner, who got into politics because of Newt Gingrich's organization, and these little tapes that he was sending everybody to listen as they were driving around.

GARRETT: It's that excitement idea dynamic I was talking about earlier. It can take hold. I have seen it before.

BRAZILE: But you know, I'm an organizer -- not a community organizer, but an organizer, an old-school organizer at that -- but you have to get on the ballots in all of these states. And Newt has already missed one deadline in Missouri. Granted, it's not a binding primary with delegates, but in order to win the nomination, you got to get delegates. Therefore, you have to go out and get petitions.

So can he do it over the next couple of weeks? Perhaps.

AMANPOUR: That was the last word. Thank you all very much. And up next -- Angelina Jolie's labor of love. The Oscar winner opens up about her searing new film on the war in Bosnia.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: That was a scene from "In the Land of Blood and Honey" a new film written and directed by the Academy Award winning actress Angelina Jolie. It tells the story of innocent people caught in the middle of the Bosnian War. They were victims of systematic rape and genocide. And though the United States was heavily involved and finally ended the conflict in 1995, the actual war raging for more than three years in the heart of Europe was considered the greatest collective failure of international diplomacy since World War II.

I covered it and I sat down with the council on foreign relations with Angelina Jolie and two of the film's Bosnian stars Zana Marjanovic and Vanessa Glodjo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: I was thinking and meditating on these international themes of violence against women, lack of intervention and how human beings are changed and warped by war and how some people come out stronger and some people are truly broken.

AMANPOUR: Were you conscious of American foreign policy when you were doing this show?

JOLIE: It's infuriating how long it took to intervene. When I say intervene I don't mean always boots on the ground, I don't mean that, it's just being conscious, discussing it, not hiding the issues and figuring out and working towards solutions with the people on the ground.

AMANPOUR: And when you cast the film, you have an entirely local group of people who lived the war, lived all sides of the ethnic divide. Was that deliberate?

JOLIE: Absolutely. I would not have done the film without them. It belongs to them. It's their story

AMANPOUR: It is a controversial thing to do, to tackle the idea of camps, of ethnic cleansing, women being raped as a tool of war.

JOLIE: There's no safe way to tackle these subject matters. But I think the important thing is to discuss them and tackle them.

ZANA MARANJOVIC, ACTRESS: Our fear is the silence, our fear is the ignorance. Our fear is that people won't know what happened. And being ignorant about what happened leads a chance that it may happen again.

AMANPOUR: Do you feel like you were forgotten? Do you feel this film is a way of reminding the world what happened back then?

VANESSA GLODJO, ACTRESS: I didn't feel abandoned now especially when I look at you, I really don't feel that we were abandoned. Because what we had, when you were doing those CNN reports, for us, it was the truth. And as you know the truth was on our side.

MARANJOVIC: It's a stain that will always remain.

AMANPOUR: A stain?

MARANJOVIC: A stain. It kind of -- it's a scar. I think that's maybe the best way to describe it.

GLODJO: I've seen our films that we did in Bosnia. And for some unexplainable reason people put gloves when they speak about war.

AMANPOUR: They treat it with kid gloves as you say.

GLODJO: Exactly.

But, Angelina -- and that's what I wanted to say when I read the script -- I had a knife in my chest, in my stomach. And I said, my god, what is this? What is this really? It's so strong.

AMANPOUR: You're not from there and yet you've thrown yourself into this incredible story, it's incredibly emotional, even all of us talking.

JOLIE: You see these great pictures. There's a great photograph I had in the office and the woman she's got the pearls and she's done her hair and it's just you may shoot at me, but you will not remove my humanity, my dignity, my self, my person. I'm going to continue to keep my head up.

There's something in this film we hope through the music, through the people, through the relationships that also shows the warmth and the love and the humor and the life of the people from this part of the world that is special.

AMANPOUR: Very moving, though, for you, too?

JOLIE: Very moving. I'm very moved.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: and you can see more of my interview with Angelina Jolie tomorrow on Good Morning America. And on Nightline where she opens up about her humanitarian work and life with Brad Pitt and their six children.

Up next, which Republican candidate is kissing the Donald's ring? That's ahead on Next Week in politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: And now, the "Sunday Funnies."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SETH MEYERS, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": This Christmas a number of senators will participate in a "Secret Santa" gift exchange that will involve members from both parties. The way it works is the Democrats will give the Republicans a gift and that's it.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's another case of he said/she said.

STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE COLBERT REPORT": Now technically I believe we're now up to "he/she said/she said/she said/she said/she was paid not to say."

(LAUGHTER)

JIMMY FALLON, "LATE NIGHT WITH FALLON": Today, some good news, it is the holiday season over at the White House. The theme for this year's Christmas is "Shine, Give, Share." Well, rumor is the theme for next year's Christmas will be "clean, pack, move." That's a rumor.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: And now for a look at what's on tap for "Next Week in Politics."

Monday the parade of candidates to Trump Tower continues as Newt Gingrich heads to the Big Apple to meet with businessman and future debate moderator Donald Trump.

Tuesday, President Obama travels to Osawatomie, Kansas, to road test his new message of economic populism with a speech about fairness.

Most of his GOP challengers will be in nation's capital on Wednesday, speaking before the Republican Jewish Coalition, expect to hear a lot of full-throated support for Israel on that stage.

And Saturday, of course, all eyes on Iowa and the "ABC News Republican Presidential Debate" moderated by ABC's Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos. It airs live on ABC at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: And now, "In Memoriam."

(VIDEOTAPE OF RECENTLY DECEASED)

AMANPOUR: And we remember all of those who died in war this week. The Pentagon released the names of three soldiers and marines were killed in Afghanistan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: That's our program this week. And remember, you can always follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, and abc.com. And don't forget to join us next Saturday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and 6:00 p.m. Pacific when Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos moderate the "ABC News Republican Presidential Debate" from Des Moines, Iowa.

From all of us here, thank you for watching and we will see you next week.

END

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