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

ABDULLAH: She has never, ever gotten involved in the government. Her mandate, if there is any, has always been education, education, education. And I'm hoping that our society will wake up to this and put a stop to this, because it's become so destructive in Jordan, not just Rania. Many, many people have been accused by people that just feel that they can get away with it.

AMANPOUR: Your majesty, thank you very much, indeed.

ABDULLAH: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And up next, big changes in the Republican presidential field. Trump is officially out. Pawlenty is almost officially in. And Newt Gingrich is struggling to stay afloat. Who has what it takes to win the nomination? Answers from our roundtable when we return.



(UNKNOWN): You're an embarrassment to our party.

GINGRICH: I'm sorry you feel that way.

(UNKNOWN): Why don't you get out before you make a bigger fool of yourself?

GINGRICH: I'm sorry you feel that way.

(UNKNOWN): Feel the rainbow, Newt. Stop the hate. Stop anti- gay politics, dividing our country and not fixing our economy.

GINGRICH: Nice to live -- nice to live in a free country.


AMANPOUR: Scenes from a very bad week. Newt Gingrich is on an apology tour, trying to explain why he denounced Paul Ryan's budget plan as, quote, "right-wing social engineering." Will the candidate be able to turn the page?

Let's now bring in our roundtable, ABC's George Will, Matthew Dowd, former campaign strategist for George W. Bush, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, and ABC senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl.

Welcome to you all. But first, the breaking news. Governor Mitch Daniels has said in a midnight e-mail that he is not going to throw his hat into the ring. And you spoke to him, George, last night. What did he say?

WILL: I did. He's a friend of mine and of my wife, and he called to say this. He made an immensely civilized decision. It's an old axiom. It's the late David Broder's rule, that anyone who will do what you have to do to become president shouldn't be allowed to be president.

We have now had three top -- potentially top-tier candidates, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, and Mike Huckabee saying, "I'd rather not." And that's not a moral failing. You have duties to your country, you have duties to your family. All that said, this caps an excellent week for one person, and that's Tim Pawlenty. Huckabee out puts in play the evangelical Christian vote, which is almost half the vote in Republican primaries. So Tim Pawlenty is well positioned.

AMANPOUR: Well, we'll get to that, but I just want some of the back story. What do you think went into the Mitch Daniels' decision? I mean, he said his family. But is it because his wife didn't want to do it?

KARL: Yeah, this was certainly a personal decision. Daniels was getting urged by everybody to get in this. And up until just a few days ago, George, top Republicans in this town were thinking that he was going to go and were pushing very hard, saying, "You have to do this. You are the candidate." You know, he becomes the default anti- Mitt Romney candidate, the establishment choice, and I totally agree. Now is Tim Pawlenty's moment. And what timing, he announces tomorrow.

AMANPOUR: Did he say that about his wife?

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