'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Jim DeMint

GERSON: Right, exactly. But I would say that every front-runner has to be wary of the Giuliani fate. Giuliani led in all the polls the last time. He ended up with one delegate at the convention. You know, this can change very quickly.

AMANPOUR: You said it's a remarkable sort of rise. Is it remarkable like Michele Bachmann was remarkable when she entered? Or is it beyond that?

GERSON: Well, I think it's a little bit beyond that. I think he has a serious governing record. I think his appeal on jobs is a real advantage in this case. I don't think this is necessarily a bubble. I think he's going to be serious.

And I think that Romney may want people like Palin getting in the race, in order to divide and create an inter-Tea Party rivalry, you know, going forward. But I think Perry's been very good at marginalizing Bachmann. It shows that he's a savvy politician. And, you know, that's a real achievement so far.

AMANPOUR: We'll get to Palin in a second, but, Dana, I wanted to ask you, again, alluding to some of the things that Governor Perry has said. And he is a Tea Party favorite, and yet he's talked about Social Security, he's talked about it as a crumbling monument to the failure of the New Deal. But we know and the polls show that 87 percent of Americans believe, of course, Social Security has been good for the country. Does that not put him completely out of step with the rest of the country on this major issue?

LOESCH: Not really, because I think that what he wants to do is reform Social Security and hopefully take it out of the hands of the government and allow people to be able to decide what they want to do with their own money.

And that's something that grassroots has always been supportive of. We trust ourselves more than we trust the government. And the government has done a horrible job. They said this money was supposed to be there for people who are my parents' age, who are my aunts' and uncles' age. This money was supposed to be there for them when they retired. It was supposedly put in some sort of lockbox. And then when you open the box, when these people hit retirement age, it's not there anymore.

So I think that this is something that grassroots has pushed for. I think Perry is beginning to speak to that. That's not to say, though, however, that there are other issues that I think that he, over the next -- the course of the next several weeks, he's going to have to answer to, to grassroots.

AMANPOUR: Such as?

LOESCH: Well, I think -- well, for one, his stance on immigration. He's spoken out against building a fence at the border. And I think there's also, too, a lot of people want to talk about Reagan during this political time, but some of Perry's stances on immigration, frankly, aren't all of that different from where Reagan stood on immigration.

We have to remember the immigration bill that was signed into law by Reagan in '86. Reagan was very proud of that, but the difference is, is that Reagan wanted to support a strong border, not just amnesty. And Perry doesn't match up on that. So he's got a lot of answering to do.

AMANPOUR: Clarence, you've written today's column on the Social Security issue. You just heard what Dana said, take it out of the hands of government, and it's just a way of Perry saying he wants to reform it. But how difficult do you think his record, his written record on what he thinks about Social Security is going to be for him?

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