'This Week' Transcript: Madeleine Albright, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Kent Conrad and David Cote


And failing to convince his fellow G-20 leaders to use stronger language in the joint declaration on China's currency manipulation.

OBAMA: That is an irritant not just to the United States, but is an irritant to a lot of China's trading partners and those who are competing with China to sell goods around the world.

TAPPER: The president was even forced to push back on attacks that the U.S. was engaging in its own currency manipulation, defending a move by the independent Federal Reserve to inject $600 billion into the U.S. economy.

OBAMA: From everything I can see, this decision was not one designed to have an impact on the currency, on the dollar. It was designed to grow the economy.

TAPPER: Criticisms from G-20 leaders who questioned President Obama's spending habits were made all the more relevant when the co-chairs of the president's own debt commission put forth controversial proposals to reduce the deficit.

BOWLES: This debt is like a cancer that will truly destroy this country from within.

TAPPER: Ones attacked by liberals and conservative, showing how difficult reducing the deficit will be. Modesty was forced upon the president in this trip full of complications.

For "This Week," Jake Tapper, ABC News, traveling with the president.


AMANPOUR: And to discuss all of this, we're joined now by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. He's just come back from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thank you both for joining us. And let me ask you first, Secretary Albright, because you have been to many of these summits, isn't it extraordinary that the president, that U.S. leadership is being questioned so openly, not just by China, but by Germany, who called the Fed's action, for instance, "clueless"?

ALBRIGHT: Actually not. I mean, I think -- I've been to lots of meetings, and they are discussions. And I think the thing that people have to remember is that the G-20 was not set up to solve the world's economic problems. It was, it fact, set up as a way to bring the developing countries in to show what the various disagreements can be and to come to various consensus agreements.

And it takes a while. I think as the president said, it's an incremental thing.

And I don't know. Christiane, I was asked by the Obama administration during the transition to meet with the G-20 when they were here, and I met with everybody individually, and you could see the fact that they all have their own interests. And it is a matter of listening to the various ideas. I think that it is a process, and I think it's very clear that America continues to be central to the process.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask Senator Graham. Certainly China and Germany, as you heard, did question America's global leadership. Do you think that is, if not actually, at least symbolically and psychologically damaging for the United States?

GRAHAM: Well, I don't want to overreact here. The currency issue was disappointing to me. Clearly, China does manipulate the value of the yuan to get an advantage in exports. They already have enough advantages. I was disappointed with the other nations who would not get behind President Obama to push the Chinese to change their currency policy.

But, yeah, you know, at the end of the day, we're getting criticism. Does that mean we're losing influence? Not necessarily so.

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