'This Week' Transcript: Warren Buffett, Powerhouse Roundtable

CARVILLE: But, senator, I make a point if my geography is correct. For weapons to get from Iran to Syria, they have to go through Iraq.


CARVILLE: Overfly. If we had better allies in Iraq...

ROBERTS: If we had better allies in general -- this president promised us he would reset his relationship with Russia, which could put pressure on Assad and other -- and China. He was going to reset all of our relationships in the world to bring -- to leverage the power to bring peace. None of that has come -- has happened.

Iran is the real issue. Weapons have passed to Hezbollah through Syria to Iran and continue to and will, because we don't follow-up on anything we say we're going to do.

There are not good options, but there are weak promises and invite provocation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me move on to the broader question, the president's influence in the second term. Facing tough questions at his press conference this week. And James Carville, I want to show you a few headlines. The president seems to be getting it from right, left, and center.

Maureen Dowd in the New York Times "Bottoms Up, Lame Duck."

Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal "Is Obama Already a Lame Duck?

Even The Financial Times, "Barack Obama Captive on Capitol Hill."

We have seen the president's poll numbers drift a little bit below 50 right now. So how does he fight this notion this early in the second term that he's already a lame duck?

CARVILLE: When the Democrats won in 1986, they said that was the end of the Reagan administration. In 1994, the when Republicans took the House and then Clinton was re-elected, said he was not going to get anything done for the rest of his term.

When president Bush lost the House and the Senate in 2006, it was the same thing.

Look, there's not a lot of legislation that's going to happen probably between now and 2016 -- or 2014. The president has enormous influence in a lot of places outside of legislation. And the idea that anybody has as much constitutional power as the president of United States, that somehow is irrelevant in debate I think is carrying things...

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Mary Matalin, he's still far more popular than Republicans in congress.

MATALIN: So what? That's irrelevant. He (inaudible) in six weeks. He's souffled -- he single-handedly wiped out his congressional majority in the last midterm. He set in place Republican dominance at the state level for decades because we picked up so many -- 7,000 legislators and 30 governors, in control of the legislatures in the states, which is the bench -- back bench for rising stars.

And this cycle, he's going to wipe out his senate, if not the majority, certainly, the critical mass of the majority.

ROBERTS: Republicans should have never lost seats in the Senate in the last election and they did. And now, you're having a hard time finding Republicans to even run for the senate in a lot of these democratic seats. It's not a place people want to be these days.

But also, look. James is right. The president -- the power of the presidency, regardless of whom occupies the White House, is enormous. And this question is always asked. And the truth is, the president is a lame duck. The 22nd amendment is a terrible idea. You know? Term limits always create lame duckhood. And everybody in congress knows they'll never run with this guy again.

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