'This Week' Transcript: Goolsbee and Rauf


GOOLSBEE: Look, I think the number one thing you can do to address poverty also is the way you address unemployment and the way you address the squeeze of the middle class, that is get the economy growing and get people back to work, so the kinds of policies the president is putting forward are quite different than what's coming from the other side. They are let's try to find this broad middle ground in which we have targeted incentives for people to do their investment in this country, not somewhere else. And part of that is infrastructure. Part of that is research and development, and part of that is just old-fashioned moxie, let's get the private sector stood up so that they can, you know, carry us out of this.

AMANPOUR: Austan Goolsbee, thank you so much for joining us.

GOOLSBEE: Thank you for having me.

AMANPOUR: Imam, thank you for joining us.

IMAM FEISAL ABDUL RAUF: Thank you, Christiane, for having me.

AMANPOUR: Tell me about your plans for the Islamic center.

Are you going to keep it at Park 51, where you proposed?

RAUF: The decisions that I will make -- that we will make -- will be predicated on what is best for everybody.

AMANPOUR: How do you decide that?

RAUF: That's been very difficult and very challenging, because, unfortunately, the -- the discourse has been, to a certain extent, hijacked by the radicals.

The radicals on both sides, the radicals in the United States and the radicals in the Muslim world, feed off each other. And to a certain extent, the attention that they've been able to get by the media has even aggravated the problem.

AMANPOUR: 71 percent of New Yorkers say it should be moved. What is your main reason for not wanting to move it?

RAUF: My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will be Islam is under attack in America, this will strengthen the radicals in the Muslim world, help their recruitment, this will put our people -- our soldiers, our troops, our embassies, our citizens -- under attack in the Muslim world and we have expanded and given and fueled terrorism.

AMANPOUR: Do you think that is a legitimate reason not to move it?

RAUF: It is an extremely important consideration.

AMANPOUR: . People are saying that because you intimated that it would cause great anger in Muslim countries around the world, it could threaten the United States. And people are saying that you made a threat.

Is that -- was that your intention?

RAUF: I have never made a threat. I've never made a threat, never expressed a threat, never -- I've never -- I would never threaten violence ever, because I am a man of peace, dedicated to peace.

We have two audiences. We have the American audience and we have the Muslim audience. And this issue has riveted the attention of the whole Muslim world. And whatever we do and whatever say and how we move and the discourse about it is being watched very, very closely. And if we make the wrong move, it will only expand and strengthen the voice of the radicals and the extremists.

AMANPOUR: But what about the sensitivities of the people who have raised the objections to the center being so close to -- to Ground Zero?

RAUF: I'm extremely concerned about -- I'm very, very concerned about their sensitivities. And this is why we have -- we have reached out to them and we will continue to reach out to them.

AMANPOUR: Do you think you, in retrospect, should have done something different from the beginning?

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