'This Week' Transcript: George Mitchell and King Abdullah II

WILL: I think, Donna, you may be wrong about this. I know the Republicans have strung out their calendar in the hopes that no one will run the table and you'll get a better test, but I don't really think that might happen. You might have an early coalescence, because you're now down to so few people, get down to two people in February and settle it in March.

BRAZILE: Well, you know, Herman Cain -- Herman Cain, who just announced yesterday that he's running, he could come in second, like Huckabee, and become the flavor of the month come March. But then again, if you don't have an establishment candidate, George, then the Republicans may have to go the entire distance, and that may not produce a real...

(CROSSTALK)

WILL: Donna, there is no Republican establishment. It died before the Herald Tribune did in New York in 1966.

(CROSSTALK)

AMANPOUR: Let's talk about who we know is, and one of them is Newt Gingrich. He has spent the whole week, as we've said, trying to dig himself out of this hole that he established last Sunday. Has he done it? Or has he not? Let's play this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GINGRICH: So let me say, on the record, any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood, because I have said publicly, those words were inaccurate and unfortunate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: OK, so everybody here has collapsed in giggles.

DOWD: Well, I think what many people forget is we -- he hasn't been in the public eye, really, in 13 years. And if people reflect back at the time he wasn't blasted in the public eye really consistently, these days he's been in bits and pieces. He says some commentary on a show and then he's off. But this is the first time in 13 years he's been in the public eye. It's very much a reminder of how he used to be 13 years ago.

AMANPOUR: Is he the great hope for the party? And does he -- has his mea culpa done the trick?

WILL: Newt Gingrich? No, I said last week right here that he was not a serious candidate, and he went out and spent the week vindicating me. No, it's over. He may not know it, but that candidacy died in its first week.

AMANPOUR: All right.

BRAZILE: He blew himself up last week.

AMANPOUR: And certainly, the White House loves it. We've seen this Twitter from Dan Pfeiffer in which he back then said the biggest takeaway from the Gingrich flap, ending Medicare as we know it is the new GOP litmus test. Do you think that's what it's going to boil down to on this -- on this run?

KARL: Not necessarily. We've only seen one of the potential Republican candidates fully embrace the Ryan Medicare plan. That's Jon Huntsman, the candidate that in all other categories would seem to be the moderate candidate in the race, so I'm not sure.

You know, we're going to have this special election on Tuesday in the 26th District of New York. Watch this election, because this is a solidly Republican district. Carl Paladino beat Andrew Cuomo in this district. And now the latest poll actually has the Democratic candidate winning. This will be seen in some quarters as a referendum on the Ryan Medicare plan. It's not exactly fair. It's not a fair thing, because there is a Tea Party candidate in this race.

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