'This Week' Transcript: Karzai, Khan and Levitt

And I must say that I was on a show the other day with Bill Cohen, the former defense secretary and senator from Maine, who said we ought to call out and sanction anyone in this country that uses Nazi analogies. I mean, I'm sorry, whatever you think, I think there is some very sincere people who object to this center being there. We can argue that point. But they're not Nazis. This is just outrageous.

AMANPOUR: And how will -- because obviously the big question is, is this being used and will it translate into a mid-term November political rallying point?

REICH: I don't think so, Christiane. The economy is so overwhelming in people's minds. Most people in America are much more concerned about money in their wallets than they are about mosques in Manhattan.

WOODRUFF: And Christiane, even Republicans you talk to say, yes, this is out there but we hope this blows over, because we don't think this helps us in November.

AMANPOUR: George, what do you think? Do you think Republicans are beginning to get a little bit concerned, as Democrats are, by this debate now?

WILL: I think a month from now, people are going to say, what was that all about? This is an August story. It's a slow news time. And you can always tell a fundamentally a weak story because it turns on sensitivity. Is so and so being sensitive to someone else? Sensitivity is overrated. It's the nature of a...

REICH: May I quote you on it?

WILL: You may.


AMANPOUR: ... pushback from some of the 9/11 families.

WILL: Well, that's too bad. The fact is, when you have an entitlement to have everybody be sensitive to everyone else, that's how you got speech codes on campuses so we would not have speech that would offend somebody. There is no right to go through life without your feelings being hurt.

AMANPOUR: One of the things that I found interesting reading a lot about this was that there's been a study by academics here in the United States, I think affiliated with (inaudible) University of North Carolina, which has found that actually a lot of the mosques that are built around the United States have a counterextremist effect. In other words, they are able to counter any kind of alienation of Muslim youth here. They are able to scrutinize teachers, look at what texts are being put.

So in other words, this study said that mosques and such centers are having a more positive effect.

REICH: Of course. This country is built on a fundamental premise, and that is the more we know about each other, the more we know about minority groups, the more we interact, the more tolerant we are, and tolerance is the cornerstone.

George, I wouldn't call it sensitivity. I would call it tolerance. And tolerance is the cornerstone of this country.

AMANPOUR: Now, you mentioned that a lot of it was because of some of the underlying angst, very serious angst that is abroad here today, and most notably about the economy. We'll put up a graphic of the latest figures, but 500,000 new claims for unemployment insurance were made last week, according to the Department of Labor.

Where is this going? Where is this situation going? This was meant to be the summer of recovery. Is there any idea on how to ameliorate the jobless situation?

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