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


But on the currency front and trade front, this was a disappointing meetings. We need a trade agreement with Korea. We need to fight back against China currency manipulation. And I think you're going to see the Congress get more involved on the currency front after this trip.

AMANPOUR: Well, certainly the U.S. also being accused of trying to push down and weaken its own currency. You know, you say that this is perhaps just a sort of temporary statement by these countries, but doesn't -- doesn't America have to get its economic house in order, in order to be able to lead on a whole number of other issues, Senator?

GRAHAM: Yes, I think Secretary Clinton -- I think Secretary Clinton got it right that our looming deficit is a national security problem for us, and the only way you can get America's financial house in order is do a bipartisan agreement on entitlement reform.

Earmark's important. That's just on the margins. But if you really want to get America back in business, we've got to come to grips with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and find bipartisan agreements to reform entitlements before it's too late.

We're an aging population. A lot of baby boomers are going to retire. We've got fewer workers, and we need to do that sooner rather than later.

AMANPOUR: Well, we're going to discuss this later on, but do you think there will be compromise?

GRAHAM: There must be. Look what happened with health care when you tried to jam it through on a party-line vote. We need to get Social Security stabilized before it goes into permanent bankruptcy. We're going to have to increase the age. We're going to have to manipulate benefits for upper-income Americans. We've got to put everything on the table, including stable revenues. And I'd like to see this commission help lead the Congress to get some results that have been kicked down the road for far too long.

AMANPOUR: OK. Let me bring up now some of the key foreign policy issues that go to the heart of American prestige and for the president's prestige, the START Treaty, the New START Treaty. Do you think that it will be ratified coming in this lame-duck session?

ALBRIGHT: I think it's very important that it be ratified. The president has said it's a priority issue during the lame-duck session. He just finished a meeting with President Medvedev when they were in Japan, and the president restated that it was a priority issue.

And the reason it is, is that it's -- first of all, it's a good treaty. But part of the problem is we remember President Reagan said trust, but verify. And what has happened is that the verification procedures have now not been in place for almost a year, so we need that treaty for that.

Plus, I think that we really do -- the relationship with the Russians is very important. They've been very helpful on Iran. And I think -- I hope very, very much that the lame-duck session recognizes the importance of the treaty.

AMANPOUR: And, Senator Graham, Senator Kerry has already said that he believes it can happen in December. President Obama said it must happen in the lame-duck session. Do you believe that it will be voted on and ratified in the lame-duck session?

GRAHAM: I don't know. I'm very open-minded about the treaty. As Secretary Albright indicated, it's an important relationship between the United States and Russia. I think Russia could do more, but they have been more helpful.

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