'This Week' Transcript: Sen. John McCain and Sen. Robert Menendez

MENENDEZ: Absolutely. Latino voters in -- first of all, Americans support it, in poll after poll. Secondly, Latino voters expect it. Thirdly, Democrats want it. And fourth, Republicans need it.

RADDATZ: Shouldn't the president have invited some Republicans to that meeting in the White House?

MENENDEZ: Well, it was the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, so...

RADDATZ: I know, but isn't there a way to find some Republicans he could invite into the White House? I know there's...

MENENDEZ: I think -- you know, in fairness to the president...

RADDATZ: ... there were just Democrats.

MENENDEZ: ... in his first term, he invited a very large cross-section of Democrats and Republicans. And I think he understands the unique role that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus plays in the question of immigration reform, and that's why he wanted to hear from that leadership.

But I'm sure that those bipartisan meetings will take place. And most importantly, I am really pleased by the nature of the bipartisan meetings that we are having with a group of six senators -- three Democrats, three Republicans -- and I understand a similar process is taking place in the House. That's real movement forward.

If you think about it, Martha, at one time, pathway to earned legalization was off the table. We were talking about sending people back as touchbacks, if they had any opportunity. That's not really being discussed. We're making very significant progress.

RADDATZ: Let me move also onto Benghazi. Do you think this is over? John McCain clearly does not think this issue is put to bed.

MENENDEZ: Well, look, I think that -- I don't know how much more can be said about the realities of what happened in Benghazi. We have the Administrative Review Board. They made it very clear. Secretary Clinton took responsibility.

RADDATZ: Then what were you trying to get through that hearing?

MENENDEZ: Well, first of all...

RADDATZ: Did she make mistakes?

MENENDEZ: ... my Republican colleagues insisted on having that hearing before we could move on to Senator Kerry's nomination. And I thought it was important to hear from the secretary to close the chapter, where, in fact, she is moving forward, as she said, on those 29 recommendations by the Administrative Review Board, how do we change the lines of authority within the State Department so that it's very clear who's responsible for embassy security, how do we change our...

RADDATZ: Which they've said they've implemented most of those...

MENENDEZ: Absolutely. And that's very important, so that, in fact, there are very clear lines of division.

RADDATZ: I want to move...

MENENDEZ: And also, how -- how do we make sure that, in fact, we look at intelligence in a different context? There doesn't have to be a specific threat, but we look at the environment in any place in the world in which our foreign services are operating.

RADDATZ: I wanted to move on to Chuck Hagel, as well, and his nomination. Would you support Chuck Hagel? Is he the right man to be defense secretary?

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