'This Week' Transcript: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: We're significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get.

GRAHAM: The concerns I have today are greater today than they were before.


STEPHANOPOULOS: I got to say, Cokie, I was surprised by all that. Usually you don't go up to a meeting like that unless you have some idea of how it's going to turn out.

ROBERTS: It is surprising, but I think what we're dealing with, to some degree, is something that Dan was just talking about, which is that Republicans, particularly Senator Graham, are more worried about their primaries than their general elections, and there is some amount of trying to prove your conservative credentials here. I think that Senator Graham has been out there on issues like immigration and other issues where conservatives aren't with him. And to sort of go an attack on Ambassador Rice might be--


STEPHANOPOULOS: You're shaking your head.

SENOR: Because it's not just Senator Graham. It's Susan Collins, a moderate, from Maine, who introduced Susan Rice at her confirmation hearing. It's Bob Corker, the incoming ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who is a very much a moderate, very much works across party lines. I know Steve has worked with him.

These are not firebrands and these are not people worried about primary challenges. I spoke to one senator who met with her this week, this consensus this individual conveyed was that these meetings did not go well.

Benghazi was a serious issue. We can debate whether or not Susan Rice should be blamed for it. But she was front and center on a very serious issue.


SENOR: And I think the administration has handled this terribly. They have put her out there as though she's going to be a nominee, except they haven't nominated her. You know, Jay Carney is being asked questions, has to defend her. I am not going to speculate about someone, she hasn't been nominated for anything, and now she's under the media onslaught for her investments and companies in Iran and investments in Canada. So she gets all the downsides of being a nominee without any of the infrastructure and administration support for her.

RATTNER: So we can talk about how the administration handled it and debate that, but I don't believe -- I think what she did was entirely appropriate. She was given a set of talking points, done by nonpartisan intelligence agencies, which we -- to the best of our knowledge, the White House changed exactly one word, an innocuous word.


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- the intelligence agencies did.

RATTNER: Consulate to mission. She went out there and she did it. And now she's being torn apart for it. It's as if when George was interviewing Tim Geithner, he'd said -- Tim Geithner was supposed to have gone and added up all the numbers in their budget proposal to make sure they're right.


ROBERTS: If she was a nominee, there would be a whole infrastructure there to support her. There would be a war room. And none of that is the case. So she's just kind of --


ELLISON: I think that she's being treated horribly.


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