'This Week' Transcript: John Brennan, Sens. Cornyn and Menendez


The change label has hurt Democrats this year. Our poll shows that if the election were held today, 49 percent of likely voters say they would vote for the House Republican candidate in their district. 45 percent say they would vote for the Democrat. That has narrowed significantly, though, from our last poll in September.

But compare it to 1994. Democrats had a two-point advantage just before the election, and they lost more than 50 seats.

Joining me now, the two top senators leading their party's election efforts, Republican John Cornyn and Democrat Robert Menendez. Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining me.

CORNYN: Good to be with you.

MENENDEZ: Good morning.

AMANPOUR: So you saw the polls. Do you feel that you have the wind in your back? Do you think that the Republicans will have the momentum to grab the Senate?

CORNYN: Well, I think we'll make a lot of headway. I'm not predicting that we will get the majority this cycle. I think it probably is going to take two cycles, but there is certainly a potential there, depending on just how high and how broad this wave election is.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about Joe Miller in Alaska. Our Jon Karl, political correspondent, is saying that you're basically, the GOP is giving up on Joe Miller, or thinking that he's not going to win.

CORNYN: Well, that's not the case. We, what we have done, we are supporting the nominee of our party, which is Mr. Miller, and -- but are concerned.

AMANPOUR: Do you think he can win?

CORNYN: Well, I think that polls are very close now between Senator Murkowski and Joe Miller, and what we want to make sure of is that the Democrat doesn't win, Bob's candidate doesn't win in November.

AMANPOUR: And Senator Menendez, your candidate there, you're pouring a lot of money in to hope that he actually can win in Alaska.

MENENDEZ: Well, we're not pouring a lot of money in--

AMANPOUR: Last-minute ad money.

MENENDEZ: But we believe that Scott McAdams actually has a real chance of winning this race. Mr. Miller has obviously plummeted because it's about ideology versus about Alaska. Lisa Murkowski wanted to privatize Social Security. Scott McAdams is all about Alaska, so I think he has a real opportunity here.

AMANPOUR: Do you think, looking at the polls, looking at what we've just seen, do you think this is as bad as 1994?

MENENDEZ: No, this is not 1994. No. 1, in 1994, the Republican brand, its image was much better than it is today. In every poll, Democrats as a brand fare much better. And, secondly, in 1994, it was a surge at the end. We've known that this midterm election is going to be challenging, and so our candidates for the U.S. Senate have been ready for this and have been creating the contrast in each election between their Republican opponent, who wants to bring us back to the economic policies that brought us into this mess in the first place, and their own policies that are working to get us out of it.

AMANPOUR: Senator Cornyn said they don't think they will get it this cycle. But you're saying that you're blaming the economy on President Obama's predecessor, but clearly the voters are not saying that. They are taking this economy very -- to heart and very badly.

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