Transcript: Alan Greenspan

ROBERTS: And the problem is, it comes just at the same time that everybody was already criticizing him of being too diffuse, being all over the place, not concentrating, not following through. And you know, to just sort of go winging off to Copenhagen in the middle of that, I think it's just a bad judgment. STEPHANOPOULOS: It's true that he probably would have gotten blamed if he didn't go. Because all the other foreign leaders were -- but to get to these points, George, we have seen the White House face a fair amount of this lately. Look on the political front. They tried to get Dave Paterson out of the race in New York. He says no. They tried to get Andrew Romanoff out of the race for Senate in Colorado; he says no. They tried to get Joe Sestak out of the race in Pennsylvania for Senate. He says no.

The argument is, again, no harm in trying; that's the job of the White House. WILL: That's just at home. Abroad he has said to Israel, "Stop the settlements." They didn't. He said to the Palestinians, "Engage Israelis." They didn't. He said to Saudi Arabia, "Some gesture, please, toward Israel." They didn't.

He said to Iran, "Do this, that, and the other thing." They obviously haven't. To Honduras, he said, "Please restore your president." They didn't.

India and China, "Please restrain your greenhouse gases." They won't. NATO, "Please take some of our Gitmo terrorists." They won't. NATO, "Please send troops to Afghanistan." They won't. It's -- saying no to the president is a habit. VANDEN HEUVEL: But George, that -- you can't conflate, it seems to me, a White House going into domestic races. I think that's antidemocratic, what they're trying to do. I believe in the primary system in our country. But going and saying to Israel, "Halt settlements," that is the right and role and prerogative of a U.S. president. That is called international relations, diplomacy, speaking out to the world and engaging a world that was repulsed in these last eight years. WILL: All I'm saying is the world adores him and ignores him. VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, no, but the world is marching on its own terms. America is no longer a superpower. And I think this administration does understand the limits of U.S. power but needs to demonstrate it more wisely. I would agree with that.

But I think, you know, what President Obama is trying to do and yesterday, when he spoke about the national emergency in our country...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Jobs.

VANDEN HEUVEL: ... which is the jobs crisis, that is where you begin to see a president who does need to limit his focus. Now, I do respect the boldness and ambition of a president who's come out and done all of this. And I think he's been forced to by the nature of our times. But he now needs to step up on the jobs crisis. Because that's not just political; it's moral. You had on secretary -- Federal Reserve Secretary Alan Greenspan. I mean, our man, William Greider of "The Nation" called him a one-eyed chair, because he adverted his eyes from financial chaos and destruction. But to say we don't need a second jobs stimulus is wrong. ROBERTS: The -- the political stuff at home, the big mistake is that they let people know about it. You know, you do those kind of deals, where you're trying to get Paterson out of the race, you don't tell the world that you're trying to get Paterson out of the race. That's something...

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