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


So what we can't have is what the Republican leader in the Senate has, which is saying that he wants to make them all of the tax cuts, including for the most wealthiest in the country, permanent. That is a $4 trillion cost. That is not going to happen, because you can't say you want to be responsible on spending and then spend $4 trillion on tax cuts.

AMANPOUR: But is there a compromise in the works?

MENENDEZ: Well, I certainly believe that there may be some opportunity for a temporary approval of some of these cuts, but--

AMANPOUR: A year, two years?

MENENDEZ: We'll have to see what can be worked out. But we will not support -- certainly what I will not support is a permanent extension, $4 trillion. You can't talk about spending and being responsible on spending and then spend $4 trillion that you don't have of our collective wealth to the individuals who have the greatest wealth in the country.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about a lot of the money that's been spent in this campaign on ads, on all sorts of things. Not only have there been strong complaints from the Democrats about a lot of the anonymous money that's going on ads, but some of the ads have been quite -- quite sharp in their tone, let's say. David Vitter has run one which I want to put up right now. His campaign ad.


(UNKNOWN): Charlie Melancon. Thanks to him, we might as well put out a welcome sign up for illegal aliens. Melancon voted to make it easier for illegals to get taxpayer-funded benefits. Melancon even voted against allowing police to arrest illegals. Thanks to Charlie Melancon, it's no wonder illegals keep coming.


AMANPOUR: So some people have called that racist. I want to know, do you think it's appropriate to finger Hispanics in that way?

CORNYN: Well, you--

AMANPOUR: Do you think it is appropriate?

CORNYN: I wish we had time to show Melancon's ads against Vitter. They're pretty tough.

AMANPOUR: But let me just ask about this particular ad.

CORNYN: Well, I think border security is a federal responsibility and one that the federal government has simply failed to deal with in an appropriate way. And I think it's appropriate to raise that issue in a campaign.

AMANPOUR: But do you think it's appropriate in this way? I mean, you're from Texas. You have a big Hispanic group there. Do you think it's appropriate? Would you have done that?

CORNYN: Well, I didn't write the ad. And I--

AMANPOUR: Would you have done it?

CORNYN: I think calling attention to illegal immigration -- and, you know, for example, this last year, Christiane, 45,000 people emigrated to the United States illegally from countries other than Mexico, including countries like Yemen where this bomb emanated from. So it's a national security issue.

AMANPOUR: But it's the style (ph) that I'm talking about, really, not the national security issue.

That's all we have time for. Thank you both very much, indeed. Senator Cornyn, Senator Menendez. We'll be watching on election night. Thank you very much, indeed.

And coming up next, a comic appeal for civility and unity on the National Mall.


AMANPOUR: And our powerhouse roundtable with ABC's George Will, Cokie Roberts, senior congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl, political strategist Donna Brazile, Tea Party organizer Dick Armey, and Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post.

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