'This Week' Transcript: Secretary Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain

KARL: Joe Biden warned that murder and rape would go up if the bill didn't pass. And then...

BIDEN: Don't screw around with me.

KARL: ... the vice president tangled with a reporter from the conservative newspaper Human Events.

BIDEN: Murder will continue to rise. Rape will continue to rise. All crimes will continue to rise.

KARL: The scare tactics didn't work. His numbers were wrong, and the bill failed anyway.

(UNKNOWN): The motion is not agreed to.

KARL: Finally, trending up, Democratic cash. House Democrats raised nearly twice as much as House Republicans. Herman Cain, still up in the polls, but down, debating himself on abortion and whether he'd trade Gitmo prisoners for American hostages. And enough fruit already.

CAIN: That's an apple. We're replacing a bunch of oranges.

ROMNEY: OK, then Governor Perry was right.

CAIN: No, he wasn't. He was mixing apples and oranges.

KARL: Bachmann, down. Her New Hampshire staff quit and doesn't even bother to tell her about it.

Perry, up. He proved he could throw a punch.

Debates, up. More than 20 million have watched them this fall. That's as many as will actually vote in all of the primaries combined.

For "This Week in Politics," I'm Jonathan Karl.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Now let's bring in our roundtable, George will, former George W. Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, and ABC's senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper.

So a string of foreign policy successes, the latest being in Libya. Is that going to give the president the kind of bump lift that he needs?

WILL: It won't give him a bump, but it will prevent him from sagging on this issue. It immunizes him on an issue that's been a Democratic problem since the 1968...

AMANPOUR: National security.

WILL: ... national security, since the party fractured on Vietnam in 1968 and elected -- nominated McGovern in '72. This does immunize him on that issue just at a moment when it ceases to have saliency, given the primacy of unemployment.

AMANPOUR: No saliency, Donna, on this?

BRAZILE: Well, he's made the world a less dangerous place. He's leading on foreign policy. The American people may not give him credit for all of the things that he's done, but clearly -- because they're looking for leadership on the economy. But on foreign policy and national security, there's no question it will inoculate him against Republican attacks that he's weak on national security.

DOWD: He needs -- this election is going to be about, who is the strong leader and who's decisive at a time of great anxiety related to the economy? So the accumulative effect of this, go -- the issue does not matter to the American public as much -- if he builds on it and shows, "I can be a strong leader in this country, as well as internationally," it could have an effect. But that's the problem. He is not showing he's a strong leader on the economy.

AMANPOUR: But the leadership issue could help?

DOWD: Well, if -- only if he adds to it. If there's nothing added to it domestically, it's just going to disappear.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, Jake, Mitt Romney was very scathing about what happened in Iraq, calling it an astonishing failure and saying, quote, "The unavoidable question is whether the result -- whether it's the result of naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude." This is about bringing the troops out of Iraq. What does the Republicans have to gain by that kind of language?

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