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

PHOTO: U.S. soldiers in Iraq

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): This week, the reluctant warrior, President Obama scores a new success as yet another public enemy meets his fate.

GADHAFI: They love me, all my people with me. They love me all.

AMANPOUR: What the killing of Gadhafi reveals about America's role in the world now and the future of the Arab Spring.

And a promise kept.

OBAMA: After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over.

AMANPOUR: But as Iraq winds down, Afghanistan rages on. Is the U.S. making much headway on that battlefield? A question for our headliner, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Then, fight night in Vegas.

ROMNEY: Rick, again...

PERRY: You had the floor. You...

ROMNEY: I'm speaking. I'm speaking.

AMANPOUR: Is the real winner of the Romney-Perry bout President Obama? Our powerhouse roundtable with George Will, Matthew Dowd, Donna Brazile and Jake Tapper goes inside Campaign 2012.

And two fighters generally in opposite corners come together in the battle for jobs. Labor leader Richard Trumka and Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue on the strategy they share for putting America back to work.

ANNOUNCER: Live from the Newseum in Washington, "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Good morning. Lots to get to today. But first, some news since your morning papers.

Breaking news to report: A powerful 7.2 earthquake has rocked Turkey, with its epicenter near the city of Van. A local mayor reports, there are so many dead, several buildings have collapsed. There is too much destruction, he says. Rescue workers are struggling to reach victims trapped under the rubble.

And a milestone in the Middle East this morning, the first election of the Arab Spring. The uprising began in Tunisia last December when a fruit vendor set himself on fire in protest of an oppressive regime. Today, Tunisians headed to the polls. There were 11,000 candidates from 80 political parties, and results will be announced tomorrow.

And in Libya, a day of jubilation as leaders formally declare the country liberated. The clock now starts for a constitutional assembly within eight months and parliamentary and presidential elections within a year.

Meantime, an official autopsy report confirms Moammar Gadhafi was killed by a shot to the head. The transition government has been under international pressure to explain the circumstances of Gadhafi's death. And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the region. I spoke with her about the changes in Libya and the administration's decision to pull all American troops from Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Madam Secretary, thank you for joining us.

Are you in Herman Cain's famously designated "Beki-beki-beki-bekistan"?

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: Well, you know, there's a zero-zero-zero change I'm going to comment on Republican politics, but I am in Uzbekistan.

AMANPOUR: Let me turn to something more serious. You were actually in Libya earlier this week. And this week, we all saw the video of the bloodied and dazed Moammar Gadhafi. We saw him now lying in a freezer while Libyans take a look at him. What was your reaction to that video, your gut reaction?

CLINTON: Well, Christiane, you know, obviously, no one wants to see any human being in that condition. Yet I know what a great relief it was to millions of Libyans that the past was finished and now they can move into a different future without fear and intimidation and try to make up the lost time of 42 years to develop a country that has so much natural wealth and deserves to have a democracy and prosperity.

AMANPOUR: Do you think it was obvious that that was going to happen to him? Or do you think that he should have been treated any differently?

CLINTON: Well, I think everyone would hope that he could have been captured and brought to justice. And I am very pleased that the Transitional National Council has called for an independent investigation, along with the United Nations. I fully support that, because I think that the new Libya needs to start with accountability, the rule of law, a sense of unity and reconciliation in order to build an inclusive democracy, so people who supported the former regime -- unless they do have blood on their hands -- should be safe and feel included in this new country.

AMANPOUR: What about the bomber of Pan Am 103, al-Megrahi, who was freed and brought back to Libya? Do you want to see him recaptured, re-imprisoned? And if so, where, in Libya or in the United States or in Britain or Scotland?

CLINTON: Christiane, I never thought he should have been released in the first place. I've raised this with the highest levels of the TNC. I will raise it with the new Libyan government. We want to see him returned to prison, preferably in Scotland, where he was serving the sentence, but if not, elsewhere, because we thought it was a miscarriage of justice that he was released from the sentence that had been imposed for the ghastly bombing of Pan Am 103.

AMANPOUR: Let's turn to Iraq. President Obama at the end of this week has announced that all troops will be out by the end of the year. It's well known the U.S. military wanted to keep 20,000 to 30,000 in and that the Iraqi forces, while they've made progress, really still need American logistical help. Are you not concerned that some of the gains that have been made are at risk?

CLINTON: Well, Christiane, remember that it was President Bush who set the timetable in motion by agreeing with the Iraqis that all troops would be out by the end of this year. And, of course, President Obama promised the American people that the troops would be out by the end of this year.

But we're always open to discussing with partner countries what their needs are. And as you know, we have a lot of presence in that region. So, no, we're not going to have bases in Iraq, but we have bases elsewhere. We have security relations from Jordan to Colombia. So we're going to be present in Iraq, supporting the Iraqis, and continually discussing with them what their needs are. And no one should miscalculate our commitment to Iraq, most particularly Iran.

AMANPOUR: Let's just move to Afghanistan, where you've also just come from, and Pakistan. You have confirmed that you're talking to the Haqqani network. Also, you're trying to get talks with the Taliban. Is the United States prepared and does the United States have the responsibility to make sure that when it leaves, if the Taliban has been brought back in, that it does not commit the same kind of atrocities against the women and others that it did in the past?

CLINTON: Well, let me take each piece of that very quickly. We're going to fight where we need to fight. We will talk if there's an opportunity to talk. And we will keep building toward a more secure, stable future for Afghanistan.

And to that tend, we have red lines for any talking or any agreement. With whomever we talk, they have to abide by the following: They must renounce violence. They must renounce any and all ties to Al Qaida. And most importantly, for the future of Afghanistan, they must commit to abide by the laws and constitution of Afghanistan, which protect the rights of ethnic minorities and women.

So I am very clear, as I was on my just recent visit to Afghanistan, that I am, you know, not going to support any peace agreement that gives up the hard-won rights of the Afghan people. And in particular, I have a commitment to the women of Afghanistan.

AMANPOUR: I wonder if you can finally just give us what you know about the latest message from the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, which has issued a warning to Americans that it has credible evidence of an imminent terror attack against Westerners there?

CLINTON: Well, as you know, Christiane, we follow this very closely. And it is our responsibility, first and foremost, to take care of Americans everywhere in the world.

We have been getting threats from Al-Shabaab against Americans and Westerners. So it's a very dangerous, uncertain situation. And we want to be sure that whatever information we have, we immediately present to Americans who live, work or may be visiting in Kenya.

AMANPOUR: So Al-Shabaab, the Al Qaida offshoot, that's who's threatening?

CLINTON: Well, I'm not going to get into specifics, but they've been public in their threats. You can look at coverage over the last weeks that they've threatened Kenya, they have threatened Westerners. So Al-Shabaab remains a very serious threat, which is why we have taken action against them and are supporting further action.

AMANPOUR: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much, indeed.

CLINTON: Thank you, Christiane. Good to talk to you.

AMANPOUR: So big international challenges still ahead for the United States. In a moment, I'll be speaking with Senator John McCain, who joins us from Jordan.

With me here in the studio is Bob Kagan of the Brookings Institution, a former official in the Reagan State Department, Time magazine managing editor Rick Stengel, who's been traveling with Secretary Clinton all week, and ABC's senior foreign affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz, who was with the secretary in Libya.

Let me ask you quickly about Iraq. They're putting the best face on what they have to do, which is to come out, but the military wanted to keep more people in.

RADDATZ: The military -- senior military leaders really wanted to keep at the very least 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. military members in to help train, as you mentioned in the beginning, logistical problems, medevac, the Air Force. They wanted some presence on the ground. There are also a lot of diplomats on the ground, too, and it's sort of a force protection not only for the military, but to help protect those diplomats, as well.

AMANPOUR: And, Bob, how is this playing in the region, this quite sudden removal? I know the agreement was to pull them out, but there was meant to be a residual force. How is this playing out in the region?

KAGAN: Well, as Martha says, everyone knows the administration was trying very hard to keep troops in, because why? They're worried about, first of all, stability in Iraq, but also they're worried about Iranian influence and the spread of Iran. And that's how this is going to be viewed in much of the region, especially in the gulf states, other countries in the region who are worried about Iran and worried about American staying power.

And I think, unfortunately, it's going to be noticed that very shortly after we uncovered an Iranian plot to commit a terrorist act on American soil, very soon thereafter we announced our withdrawal from Iraq, we can explain that any way we want. In the region, it's going to look like a retreat.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me go to the region. And Senator McCain joins us from there. Senator, thank you for being with us from Amman, Jordan. How do you read the withdrawal and the announcement that all forces, including a residual force, will be out by the end of this year?

MCCAIN: Well, I think it's a serious mistake. And there was never really serious negotiations between the administration and the Iraqis. They could have clearly made an arrangement for U.S. troops.

Yes, I'm here in the region. And, yes, it is viewed in the region as a victory for the Iranians. And I don't think there's any doubt there is. Sadr just announced that, once the military is gone, that embassy personnel will be targets. So I think it's -- it's a serious mistake. I believe we could have negotiated an agreement. And I'm very, very concerned about increased Iranian influence in Iraq.

AMANPOUR: You heard Secretary Clinton talk about U.S. military agreements with countries in region, and she likened them to countries elsewhere. Do you think that's going to be enough? And how do you see Iraq a year from now? Obviously, many people are worried about it descending into the same kind of fighting that we saw over the last several years.

MCCAIN: Well, I think the fact that we have other bases in the region would have very little impact on Iraq itself. Remember that Secretary Clinton and President Obama and Vice President Biden said that the surge wouldn't work. President Obama campaigned saying that they'd get out of Iraq. All of that is not lost on the people here in the region.

Look, it's a great day. Tunisia is having elections, as you mentioned. In Libya, they are going to step by step towards democracy, hopefully. But in my view, this can lead to Iranian influence in Iraq through Sadr and Maliki, I think, is leaning more and more...

RADDATZ: Senator McCain?

MCCAIN: ... towards alliances with Iraq -- with Iran. Go ahead.

RADDATZ: Senator McCain, Martha Raddatz. Tell me how -- you say it's clear they could have come to an agreement with Iraq. How? You brought up Muqtada al-Sadr, the fiery Shiite cleric. He was threatening that all U.S. troops had to be out of there. He has been a huge problem there. How does Maliki face somebody like that? How do you get an agreement? It's not that easy.

MCCAIN: Well, the -- well, Martha, the fact is that I was there with Senator Graham and Senator Lieberman. We talked with Barzani, Allawi, Maliki last May. They were ready to negotiate. The United States didn't -- didn't have a plan as to how many troops should remain behind. How could we expect the Iraqis to sit down and agree? Also, you don't demand, the way that our secretary of defense said, what's their plan? You sit down and negotiate, and it could have been negotiated, because I know, because I was there at the time. That's how.

RADDATZ: And the question of immunity?

MCCAIN: The -- the -- the question of immunity, obviously, could have been resolved. The question of immunity is being used -- is being used as an excuse for not reaching an agreement. The reason for not reaching an agreement is because the United States was never really very serious. And of course there's influence of Sadr. The guy that won the Iraqi elections was Allawi. We should have backed Allawi a lot more. We should have become engaged back then after their elections, which, frankly, due to our ambassador at the time and the State Department, we didn't engage.

AMANPOUR: We'll be back with you in a moment, Senator McCain.

I want to follow up with you, Rick, about this. Now there are concerns that not only is the military drawing down, but even the State Department's diplomatic reach-out is probably compromised and is going to be much less because of budgetary concerns, because of the military drawdown. There's going to be a much less American presence than they had hoped.

STENGEL: Yes. But, I mean, the reality that we're all looking at is that it's domestic concerns, rather than international concerns that are playing out here. The president made a promise. He's running for re-election. He wants to fulfill that promise. There is no appetite among the American electorate for us staying in Iraq any longer.

And I agree -- I mean, I agree with Senator McCain. There are problems with this. There are problems with this in the region. But the fact even that the Iraqi government has said you can't have the American trainers there does show that they have a certain amount of independence and that -- and that Americans look at that and think, "Well, OK, that's good."

AMANPOUR: But as Senator McCain said, there was not a full-court diplomatic press to try to negotiate in a serious way to send high-level diplomats, secretary of state, Vice President Biden, to go and do that negotiation. So I think that's interesting.

And I want to bring up what Vice President Biden has said about, for instance, perhaps the new way of going forward. This is what he said about Libya.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: In this case, American spent $2 billion total and didn't lose a single life. This is more the prescription for how to deal with the world as we go forward than it has been in the past. So that's an example of how the world's beginning to work together a little bit better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Bob Kagan, is this the new way forward? Is this a new doctrine? Is it a one-size-fits-all now, no boots on the ground, war from above?

KAGAN: There is no one-size-fits-all. Every situation is different. I'd be very surprised if this particular method worked elsewhere. We're just going to have to get used to it. But I'm afraid the administration's moved from, you know, leading from behind to leading in reverse. They are just pulling back and hoping that they can still provide leadership in the world. I'm very dubious.

RADDATZ: Can I make one...

STENGEL: Well, but this 21st century statecraft, which the secretary talks about, is different than that old model. I mean, leading from behind is an unfortunate phrase. Americans don't like that idea. We're like leading from the front, you know, charging in there. But, A, we have budget problems. B, there is a new world going on there with social media. We're seeing it in the Arab Spring. We cannot dictate to other countries what they want. We cannot tell other countries, "This is what your national interest is," and that's what we've done for a long time.

RADDATZ: Christiane, I just want to make one quick point about -- about what -- what Biden said, and that is, when you look at war and you look at the changing face of war, and you look at drones, and you look at air strikes, it's sort of "Back to the Future" for me, of looking back and people thought airpower could solve all things.

KAGAN: 1990s.

RADDATZ: Yeah. In -- in one way, it -- it makes war easier. It's so clinical. The drones strikes are so clinical. No one dies from our side. No one dies from the American side. So is it easier for a president to go to war, to -- to not involve Congress as much? And I think that's a question the American people have to ask one another. And it really has not been debated.

AMANPOUR: Precisely.

Let me ask you, Senator McCain, when you hear this debate now about how war might be conducted in the future, and you look around yourself, next door in Syria, for instance, should the United States do what they successfully supported in Libya? Should Syria have the sort of NATO treatment?

MCCAIN: Well, first of all, let me just point out that if we had an imposed a no-fly zone, if we had used the full weight of American airpower, we would not have -- this conflict would've not been prolonged as long as it -- it has. But that's -- that's over.

But we really need to provide medical help for the Libyans. We need to get these militias consolidated under the transition national council, or there's going to be a big problem. We have to, from human rights standpoint, see that prisoners are treated well. And I think that those things are what we can focus on.

I don't think that airpower would work in many other places. I think this was a unique situation. By the way, no British or French person died, either, and they led, and we followed.

But I -- I think that Syria cannot be allowed to continue to slaughter its own citizens indefinitely. Now, the Arab League foreign ministers are going to Damascus and make demands, which Assad will not agree to. So this is a step-by-step process. But I would not completely rule out actions to prevent over time Bashar Assad from continuing to slaughter his own people.

AMANPOUR: Well, you raised some very interesting questions which we'll obviously look at to see where that goes.

And in the meantime, Bob, it is the first elections in Tunisia. Libya is being liberated formally today. Where do we think it's going to go in the Arab world?

KAGAN: Well, I continue to believe that every single one of these dictators or dictators' families that's been around for the past four decades is ultimately going to fall. I think Assad is going to fall in Syria. I think the Saudis are going to have to undertake change. And so this is where things are heading. It's either going to come out in a good way or a bad way.

AMANPOUR: And in the elections, is it going to be Islamist? Or is there a struggle now to define what Islamic democracy is?

KAGAN: Certainly Islamists are going to win. They're going to win in significant portions in Egypt when those elections are held. But the question is, can Islam make its peace with democracy? And frankly, I think it can. And I think we have to support that process.

AMANPOUR: And on that note, thank you very much, indeed, Bob Kagan, Rick Stengel, Martha Raddatz, and Senator McCain from Amman. Thank you very much.

And coming up next, Campaign 2012. Who's up? Who's down? Our man, Jon Karl, is next with "This Week in Politics." And our all-star roundtable debates whether Rick Perry turned a corner in the Sin City showdown. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: Tuesday's Republican rumble in Vegas proved one thing: Rick Perry delivers one mean punch. But will the debate be a turning point in the campaign? In our special weekly feature, our man, Jon Karl, games out the stakes in "This Week in Politics."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARL (voice-over): This was the week it got nasty.

ROMNEY: Are you just going to keep talking?

KARL: We learned that Mitt Romney can lose his cool.

ROMNEY: Rick, again...

PERRY: You had the...

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: Rick, I'm speaking. I'm speaking.

KARL: That was the touch seen 'round the world. Romney response to the charge that he hired illegal immigrants did more damage to his campaign than the attack himself.

ROMNEY: We went to the company and we said, look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. I'm running for office, for Pete's sake. I can't have illegals.

KARL: What was that?

ROMNEY: I'm running for office, for Pete's sake. I can't have illegals.

KARL: While the Republicans bickered, Colonel Gadhafi became the latest bad guy to go down on President Obama's watch.

OBAMA: The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted.

KARL: Republicans have called him soft on terrorism. Candidate Hillary Clinton said he wasn't prepared for that 3 a.m. call.

(UNKNOWN): There's a phone in the White House and it's ringing.

KARL: But under President Obama, thug after thug have met his demise. On the jobs front, though, nothing doing.

OBAMA: Maybe they just couldn't understand the whole thing all at once. So we're going to break it up into bite-size pieces.

KARL: To sell the jobs bill, he tried a presidential bus tour through the battleground states of Virginia and North Carolina. John McCain didn't even like the bus.

MCCAIN: I've never seen an uglier bus. He's traveling around on a Canadian bus touting American jobs.

KARL: McCain knows buses. Remember the "Straight-Talk Express"? That was made in Canada, too. Even Michele Bachmann's bus is Canadian. Sarah Palin's bus, made in America.

The president's own team didn't help much.

REID: It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine. It's the public-sector jobs where we've lost huge numbers.

KARL: What? Doing just fine?

REID: It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine.

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?

TAPPER: Well, I've heard two arguments from Republicans this week. One is, why is Obama getting the credit for the Iraq withdrawal, given that this was a status-of-forces agreement as negotiated by President Bush? Why is Obama getting credit for what Bush did?

And then the other argument, which is, boy, it's so weak what Obama's doing, abiding by what Bush negotiated. And they both seem rather incoherent when you put them -- when you combine them.

The same with Libya. I've heard people fault -- Republicans fault President Obama for being weak on Libya, getting involved too late, following the internationalist perspective. And then, in the middle of the campaign, when it didn't look like it was going so well, there was a lot of criticism about the fact that he was -- the -- the quagmire that the U.S. was being bogged down in. And I just feel like the Republicans need to come up with a more coherent criticism against the president.

WILL: They need to answer three questions. How many troops, for how long, for what purpose? And I don't think they can answer any of the three questions.

DOWD: Well, I think -- the Republicans I think have made a series of mistakes over the last three weeks in how they've responded. I think they have a tin ear to where the American public is. They had a tin ear on Wall Street. They should have adopted sort of the anti-Wall Street message and made it Main Street against Wall Street. They should have basically totally congratulated him on the Libya, because Barack Obama -- this was his deal, and he got it done. And, three, two-thirds of the American public want the troops out of Iraq, don't believe it's made the country safer, and the Republicans ought to say, "Job well done. Let's focus on the country." That's where I think the Republicans are off.

AMANPOUR: Let's talk about tin ear or not. I'm going to bring in Frank Luntz, who's a Republican pollster. And I want to ask you about -- you were watching the debate in Las Vegas, and particularly the sort of fights element between Romney and Perry. What did the people who you were watching it with, what did they think about that development?

LUNTZ: They thought it looked more like Jerry Springer than it did a presidential campaign. And I need you to compare this to 2008. When it was Obama versus Clinton, the two of them were so careful about what they said that if either of them started to -- to be in any way negative, you saw that the media shut them down, that their grassroots shut them down. Nobody wanted them to attack each other.

Now, in 2011, it seems like the media is pushing the Republicans to attack each other, and they're very glad to do it. There's a message in here. When Rick Perry started to go after Mitt Romney in his very first debate, he was at 28 percent in the polls. Now he's down to 12 percent.

There's a lesson. He has a great record to defend in Texas, but he doesn't know how to do it. Republicans and particularly independents don't want to see these candidates going at each other. They want to know what they're for, not what they're against.

AMANPOUR: So, George, did Rick Perry, despite those risks that Frank articulates, did he bring himself up to par where he needed to be in this new debate?

WILL: Not yet. When he entered the race, he fundamentally misdiagnosed his problem. His problem was not to stop Romney's rise. Romney hasn't been rising for seven years. He's hit a fairly low ceiling in the mid-20s. Rather, it was Perry's job to make Perry seem attractive.

And I think what he's trying to do with his flat tax is to have his Panama Canal moment. In '76, Ronald Reagan is campaigning and not doing well, challenging for the nomination an incumbent president of his own party. He gives a speech in I think it was Florida, and he mentions the Panama Canal, gets an animal roar of approval from the crowd, with a great actor's sense of audiences, "I think I've found it." Went to North Carolina, worked that -- that issue, won, and went all the way to Kansas City and almost was nominated. The question is, can the flat tax be the Panama Canal for Perry?

AMANPOUR: And Romney, he looked pretty rattled. Did he get sort of knocked off that sort of perch of inevitability that everybody was talking about?

TAPPER: He's done a pretty good job in the debates, in -- in seeming above the fray. But he did -- he did get rattled, obviously, by Rick Perry. And Rick Perry, as opposed -- he tried the same line that he had tried in the previous debate, you know, "I'm still talking, I'm still talking, I'm still talking," and Rick Perry the first time backed off. This time, Rick Perry kept talking. And, I mean, I agree with Frank. I don't think it looks good for either candidate.

DOWD: Neither -- neither party, neither Rick Perry or Mitt Romney benefited from that exchange. The only person that benefited from that exchange was Herman Cain, and Herman Cain is the only one that is continuing step by step, rising in the poll. We may see Newt Gingrich rise. But that exchange didn't help anybody but Herman Cain.

BRAZILE: Mitt Romney seemed flustered. And he seemed unprepared to answer a question that he -- that came up back in 2008 when he ran before. So I was surprised...

AMANPOUR: The -- the illegal immigrants?

BRAZILE: That's right. And, I mean, basically, he said, "Stop picking on me. I dealt with that issue when I decided I was going to run for office." And I think...

TAPPER: What a horrible moment.

BRAZILE: Yeah, it really was. I think...

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: For Pete's sick, I'm running for office. I can't have -- I mean, that's the true definition of a gaffe, when you accidentally tell the truth.

(LAUGHTER)

DOWD: Well, Mitt Romney's problem isn't the illegal alien problem. Mitt Romney's -- which Rick Perry identified, which is what his big problem is why he can't go, what George says, above that, is the Republican Party does not think that he's authentic and he has a core set of beliefs. They think, as soon as he wins the nomination, they know exactly what he's going to do, which is shift to the left or shift to moderate. That's their fear.

AMANPOUR: Let me bring back Frank for a second, because you talked about Herman Cain, the 9-9-9 plan looked like it's getting a bit sour. What are voters telling you now about Herman Cain, as more exposure comes to this 9-9-9 plan?

LUNTZ: Well, remember that the average voter's about two weeks behind the Washington news cycle. So even though the media's turned more negative on Cain, what I'm still hearing out in the field is very positive. And what they credit, even though they may -- they're not always sure about the details about 9-9-9, is that they're frustrated with the tax code. They don't like the IRS. And they want to send Washington a message, which is why any candidate that comes up with a bold plan on taxes is going to see some level of approval, at least initially.

BRAZILE: I think Cain is the quintessential outsider. He's a nice guy. He reminds me of one of my uncles that you pretty much -- you like, but you don't want them to come out of the house, because the more exposure he receives, the more scrutiny, I think he becomes tongue-twisted and tongue-tied.

Look at the abortion issue, where first he said, well, you know, I shouldn't get involved with that, politicians shouldn't get involved with that. Basically, he was giving the pro-choice line, which of course I support. No one should make these personal decisions but the individual.

But now he's back to, "Oh, no, I'm for life at conception." So I think Cain is -- is not just the flavor of the month. I agree with him. I think he's going -- he's going to present a real problem for Mitt Romney, who is struggling, I think, to gain some traction.

DOWD: And Cain's rise had nothing to do with 9-9-9 plan. Cain's rise has to do with the attributes that the Republicans like in him. He's an outsider. He's a businessman. He's likable. And he seems to enjoy the fight. All of those things aren't -- nobody else has. That's why he's rising.

I think he has a huge forgiveness factor among the Republican electorate, and he's going to be able to trip himself up a number of times.

AMANPOUR: Really? Even in this day and age?

DOWD: Even (inaudible) because I think they say an outsider can make mistakes. He'll hit a tipping point, if he keeps at up, at some point, but right now, they're going to forgive him because he's an outsider.

TAPPER: And these mistakes, also, these are mistakes that -- Dan Quayle made this mistake. John McCain made this mistake about abortion when confronted with, well, what would you do if your daughter or your granddaughter had this situation. And both Quayle and McCain -- and now Cain -- say, well, it would be up to the individual. You know, I don't approve, but, you know, the woman in the family should make their mind up for themselves.

(CROSSTALK)

WILL: ... exactly right about the rise of Cain. It has a lot to do with Romney. He is rising as more and more Republicans come to the conclusion that the Republican Party has found its Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor running on competence, not ideology.

AMANPOUR: What is all this doing for President Obama, as they watch this infighting and what Frank has been telling us?

TAPPER: Well, they're -- they're campaigning against Mitt Romney. I mean, they've already started. David Axelrod, the Democratic third-party groups, they're focused on Mitt Romney. They think ultimately Romney is going to be the nominee. And that's where they're targeting their energy.

When I interviewed President Obama earlier this week, he acted as if he wasn't really all that familiar, the Republicans will sort it out. He was -- but he was clearly, first of all, aware of the 9-9-9. And, second of all, he had seen the Republicans had been rising and falling, rising and falling. And so, you know, they're lying in wait. And I think that they have gamed out lots of different scenarios for if Perry's the nominee versus Romney. I think they think Romney would be a stronger potential challenger, but Perry would pose some problems because of the Latino vote that he would bring with him.

AMANPOUR: Donna, is it Romney?

BRAZILE: Well, there's no -- I think Jake is absolutely right in his reporting, that the Democrats are worried about Romney. But, look, I still believe that Herman Cain will pose somewhat of a threat to President Obama, not in gaining the black vote, but, look, he comes across once again as -- he's an outsider. He's not attached to any of the establishment. So I still give Herman Cain a little bit more legroom than some Democrats do.

DOWD: President Obama's biggest problem right now is President Obama. He is not going to win -- they want to make this a choice election, which is what they want to do. They kind of want to reprise the 2004 election. They want to make Mitt Romney into the Republican version of John Kerry.

The problem with that is, George W. Bush in 2004 had a huge advantage on strong and decisive leader. So when we made an argument against John Kerry, that he was a flip-flopper and he was indecisive, we had a huge advantage. Right now, Barack Obama has dropped dramatically on the strong and decisive leader. He's risen in the last few days because of international, but if it turns to domestic, that's his problem, and he's going to have a huge problem making that argument.

BRAZILE: Matt, he's lost a lot of Democrats. He lost a lot of Democrats when he came across as being too conciliatory, too bipartisan in his approach. I believe, at the end of the day, those Democrats will come back, those independents, and many others who were leaning Democrats...

DOWD: His biggest problem is not Democrats. His biggest problem is independents -- independents.

BRAZILE: It's independents, absolutely. But when you talk about his leadership, not only in foreign policy, but even on the economy, Democrats give him -- I mean, the country gives him a 15-point advantage over Republicans in handling the economy.

President Obama is going to -- I think overall he will win. I don't know if it's going to be Romney, Perry or Cain, but he will win the election.

DOWD: If he wins the election with a 42 percent or 41 percent job approval rating, it would be the first time in the history of the country that happened.

BRAZILE: I'm ready for the balloons and champagne.

AMANPOUR: All of you, thank you very much, indeed. And this will continue, of course, in the green room.

And coming up, two leaders on opposite sides of the political divide come together with a solution to the jobs crisis. If they can do it, will Washington follow? The heads of the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce join me next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The council here is quoted as saying, if there is one thing that Washington should be able to agree on, rebuilding our infrastructure should be one. I mean, when you've got the AFL and the Chamber of Commerce agreeing on anything, that's a sign that it's a good idea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: And we do have the AFL and the Chamber of Commerce here. It's not often that big business and big labor agree, but this is one of those times. Both see an opportunity to create jobs by rebuilding America.

The Senate is expected to take up that issue in the next few weeks. And I'm now joined by two men that you seldom find in the same corner, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue.

Gentlemen, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

TRUMKA: Thank you.

DONOHUE: Glad to be here.

AMANPOUR: Now, it makes all the sense in the world -- build the crumbling infrastructure, put people back to work -- and yet it's such a hard sell. Make the case for why the Senate -- why Congress should do this business on infrastructure?

TRUMKA: Well, first of all, we're living off the investments that our parents and grandparents made in this country. We've gone in the last four years from being in the top five infrastructure in the world to 16, and we're falling.

We can't be competitive in a global economy unless we have infrastructure that allows us to be competitive. We have a major deficit, a $2.2 trillion deficit in old infrastructure and a $2 trillion deficit in new infrastructure, to bring us into the 21st century. This is really a no-brainer. And for years and years and years, infrastructure was an issue that Democrats, Republicans, independents, and everybody came together and said this needs to be done. Let's join together and do it.

AMANPOUR: Tom Donohue, can one join together behind me in that building politically to get this done? And how many jobs do you think it would bring to America if it was agreed to?

DONOHUE: Well, first, we're in agreement of the need to bring along a major improvement in our infrastructure. Second, we understand that a lot of jobs can be created in the transportation and the energy side and the aviation and the water side. And those all come with a trust fund attached to them, where people pay money in.

We would disagree on the current discussion in terms of the game that's going on over there to try and pass President Obama's tax issue one piece at a time. And there's a lot of things we can say about that.

And we would disagree in the issue of the buy America components of that. When we did it in the stimulus, we had to give 170,000 exemptions while we were trying to build roads and bridges. But for the fundamental issue of let's put people to work and let's improve the nation's infrastructure, we have no objection and no differences. And we're going to try and work it out by making those adjustments.

AMANPOUR: And it's not just about putting people to work. It's also about growth. And without growth, obviously, there will be no significant uptick in employment. And I've been told and read, of course, that investment in infrastructure creates growth. And by the contrary, crumbling infrastructure really hurts the GDP in this country.

DONOHUE: Actually, we even have an equation that we've shared with Rich. You can tell, based on the health of your infrastructure, what your GDP is going to be. And you are on target. No growth, no jobs.

AMANPOUR: So, Rich, if Tom Donohue and the Republicans don't agree with the tax about how to pay for all of this, how is this going to become a reality, this eminently sensible idea of getting people to work in infrastructure?

TRUMKA: Well, we have the money. It's not a matter of this country being broke. We have the money. It's the decision to make this a priority.

I think we have to make it a priority for two reasons. One, it makes us more competitive as a nation. Two, it puts people back to work. When you put people back to work, you don't have to talk about deficits and things like that, because people that are working contribute to the economy rather than taking something out of the economy.

I was sort of Tickled by Tom, though, when he said he disagrees with us about not wanting to do "buy America" stuff. He'd rather stimulate somebody else's economy rather than our economy. So...

DONOHUE: I was in Canada...

TRUMKA: I was sort of tickled by that thought.

DONOHUE: ... at the oil sands two weeks ago. And every state in the union, 50 states in the union are selling services, equipment and materials into that huge project. And soon, I hope, we're going to have the pipeline that comes down through the United States to our refineries in the -- in the Gulf Coast, which are going to create 250,000 jobs, most of them union jobs. So we -- what we want to do in "buy America" is build more things in America. But to set up opposition to us selling things abroad and for people selling things here, it costs jobs. It doesn't create jobs.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, Jeffrey Immelt, who's the head of the president's jobs council -- and, of course, you sit on it, as well -- said that he doesn't think America's in this game to win, unlike other countries, China, Germany, other such countries, that really needs to really work harder to do this. How can America not be in this to win? How this country gone soft?

DONOHUE: Well, it is fair to say -- and I think Rich and I would agree -- the emerging countries have, you know, hard over people that are entrepreneurs and working very hard. We're -- we're a developed country. And I wouldn't say we've gone soft; we've gone comfortable. And what we need, the young people coming into the workforce, starting their own businesses, people that are just determined to do this because they've got the skill, they've got the energy, and we need to help them. We need -- the banks need to help them.

TRUMKA: Look, look, the other countries that we deal with, they have a plan and a strategy. They have a plan for manufacturing. They have a plan to build things. We don't have that strategy in the United States. And the reason we don't is, that place up there gets flooded with lobbyists from multinational corporations whose interests are beginning to diverge more and more from the interests of this country. When we can realign those interests, then I think we all start to win and we put America back to work. We'll take on the competition and ultimately we win.

AMANPOUR: Very quickly, Germany, for instance, has managed to keep employment up by dealing with unions, perhaps sharing hours, reducing hours rather than laying people off. Is that something that you would consider?

TRUMKA: Oh, absolutely. Look, they have -- they had a different strategy. Theirs is a highway strategy. This country went on a low-wage, high-consumption strategy some time ago, cut wages for everyone. The major driver of the economy in the United States is consumption. You can't consume unless people have money in their pocket.

AMANPOUR: And on that note...

DONOHUE: Two points, quick.

AMANPOUR: Very quick.

DONOHUE: Consumption -- people are saving their money, and we're manufacturing more than we ever have.

AMANPOUR: Both of you, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

And the Sunday funnies are next, so stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: And now the Sunday funnies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: Let's get ready to Romney!

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: Rick, you've had your chance.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Do you know how hard it is to get a look of shock from someone in Las Vegas?

O'BRIEN: President Obama's TelePrompTer was stolen. Police are on the lookout for a thief who is eloquent and spreading a message of hope.

COLBERT: There are many reasons why Cain is surging.

CAIN: When they ask me who's the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I'm going to say, you know, I don't know. How's that going to create one job?

COLBERT: It won't create one job, because all of our jobs have been outsourced to Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stanians. I just hope that Herman Cain did not offend their president, Chappa-loppa-dippa-doppa-dee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Coming up next, "Next Week in Politics," your cheat sheet to the 2012 campaign.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: And now, "In Memoriam."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PIERPOINT: They gather and open with a prayer and then begin their protest march.

CORWIN: So they've given up. They've finally done in, and the rat is dead in an alley back of the Wilhelmstrasse. Take a bow, G.I. Take a bow, little guy. The superman of tomorrow lies at the feet of you common men of this afternoon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: We remember all of those who died in war this week. The Pentagon released the names of six servicemembers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: And now for a look at what's coming up next week in politics.

The Obama jobs tour winds through Glitter Gulch Monday, when the president visits Las Vegas.

On Tuesday, he's Jay Leno's guest on "The Tonight Show."

Mitt Romney makes like it's the general election already, with a swing state jaunt through Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. And he'll nod to the primary to the primary in New Hampshire when he files his official paperwork to get on the ballot.

Rick Perry rolls into South Carolina to formally unveil his flat tax proposal.

And Herman Cain's campaign/book tour hits Texas and Illinois.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: That's our program this week. Join us next week when our guest will be Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. He'll tell us how to put America back to work and back at the forefront of global innovation. We'll see you all again next week.

END

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