'This Week' Transcript: Speaker John Boehner

I think there are a bunch of voters out there that want a nontraditional candidate, which is why Herman Cain's risen in the polls. Even though he doesn't have experience, he's made a bunch of mistakes. In these latest allegations, if he gets through them -- and you never know what more -- more shoes are going to drop -- he mishandled this terribly, mishandled this whole thing terribly.

But to me, this whole thing with Herman Cain is a signal about how tribal our politics has become, because immediately when this allegations comes out, the right sort of castigates Politico and -- who broke the story -- and castigates the media and castigates them, saying, OK, this is horrible. And then the left says, he's disqualified, he can't run, and nobody can actually have a measured conversation about the people involved and what's the issue and all that, because we line up in tribes and we throw rocks at each other without any conversation.

HUFFINGTON: But I think this is more a problem with our media culture. I mean, Herman Cain is the latest Balloon Boy. You know, everybody's obsessed with it. It's wall-to-wall cable coverage. But even the three networks, it's like 50 stories on Herman Cain in the first three days. And if you really ask commentators off the air whether they really think that it's probable that Herman Cain even before these allegations would be president and sing "Imagine There's No Pizza" in the White House, they would tell you no. So why are we obsessing about it?

FERGUSON: But, Arianna, I think -- we're obsessing because he could become the candidate. I don't think he has a chance at becoming president. But the interesting thing here is that the Republican field is in such a mess that anything's possible. And it's perfectly plausible, given the mood in the -- in the party amongst the activists, that they won't anoint Mitt Romney and that they will actually go for Cain.

AMANPOUR: Well, before we get to Mitt Romney, I want to ask you about not just the allegations, but the substantive issues. Let's just play what Herman Cain said on PBS just a few days ago about China.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: Yes, they're a military threat. They've indicated that they're trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers, like we have. So, yes, we have to consider them a military threat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Well, you know, we do know that China's has a nuclear capability since the '60s. So is this, again, something that's problematic? Is it a misspeak, as he said? I mean, how does a presidential candidate say that kind of thing and survive?

FERGUSON: I thought this Oriental embarrassment was worse for him, actually, than the sexual harassment, because not knowing that China was already a nuclear power seems like a bit of a game-changer for somebody's credibility as a potential president. So when I saw that, I must say, I wrote him off, because if you don't know that, what else don't you know? I mean, this is Sarah Palin territory. She used to say stuff like that. And everybody said, "Forget her." And I think that actually -- the really serious thing that's happened to him is that he's lost his credibility.

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