'This Week' Transcript: Adm. Mike Mullen


REICH: You know, there were 21 separate hearings and briefings. I mean, this is not something that is being put suddenly on the agenda. And for Kyl to say right now we just don't have time or this is -- there's not enough money I think defies logic.

AMANPOUR: And, again, as Admiral Mullen said, it's not just a nice treaty with a foreign country. It is about Russia's cooperation on all the issues that the United States needs, whether it's Afghanistan, Iran, and all the rest of it.

Plus, I don't know what you think, but some are saying that this could give rise to the hard-liners in Russia again, who just do not want to -- who just don't want to deal with the United States.

LUCE: Oh, absolutely. I think it's -- it's a dream -- if you picked two countries that would like to see a failure of ratification, it would be North Korea and Iran. And I think that -- if that argument doesn't work with the Republicans, that sort of basic elemental national security argument doesn't work, nothing is. There's -- there's a greater hatred of Obama than there is a love of American national security.

AMANPOUR: Let's switch right back to here and economic security. G.M. today this week had success, initial public offering. The bailout worked? The saving G.M. worked?

REICH: Well, it worked, Christiane, to the extent that, indeed, G.M. is now worth $50 billion, if you believe the stock market, and before, in the old G.M., was worth $25 billion.

But what happened during the bailout? Actually, it was a -- it -- it was not so much a bailout as it was a reorganization under bankruptcy, and they got rid of $80 billion of debt, they got rid of thousands of jobs, divisions that were not functioning. Wall Streeters came in and reorganized G.M.

Why do we suppose the exact same thing would not have happened under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reorganization? It's not clear that the $50 billion of taxpayer money was necessary.

WILL: Of course, we'll get it back, unless their share price goes to $55 and they sell 500 million shares of the stock.

Don't believe a word G.M. says. Remember that last April their CEO, in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, and then echoing in television commercials, said G.M. has paid back the bailout in full. It paid back a tiny sliver of it, and it paid it back with government funds from another account. So do not listen to G.M.

AMANPOUR: Don't listen to a word G.M. says?

LUCE: I -- I find that difficult to disagree with. I would, however, say just in defense of the Treasury's handling of this IPO that there is not an IPO in the world that -- not a privatization in the world that isn't controversial, that hasn't been criticized for being underpriced or overpriced or misallocated. And in this case, clearly, they're going to have to see an increase in the share price to get the taxpayer money fully back.

BRAZILE: We saved a critical part of the American manufacturing base, and that's -- that's good news during this Thanksgiving week.

AMANPOUR: And, indeed, Warren Buffett, who knows a bit about business, has written an op-ed this last week to -- "To Uncle Sam, thank you from your grateful nephew, Warren, for actually saving the economy." Do you give the administration any credit for that?

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