COTE: But I would say -- well, I was one of the guys -- I've been in favor of everything. So when they were talking about stimulus, home modification, the Federal Reserve is doing what they needed to, I don't think the country realized how close we were to a depression.
And I've said to the senator several times: I don't think any politician ever gets credit for the problem they avoid. They get a lot of credit if they're in the middle of the crisis and start screaming and yelling, but avoiding a problem doesn't get a lot of merit. This deficit is one of those situations.
AMANPOUR: Were you -- were you shocked that -- that the president could not close a trade deal with Seoul, a major ally? The United States has propped up South Korea, troops there. I mean, how is this possible?
CONRAD: No, I'm not at all shocked. In fact, I think the president -- what he did is a show of strength, rather than weakness.
CONRAD: Because he refused to take a bad deal. Look, I've been deeply involved with negotiating with our Korean friends, and they have used every stratagem to avoid previous commitments they have made. And the president called them on it and said, look, you said you would open our market, your market, and you've got an obligation to do it, and I'm not going to accept just any deal in order to have a deal.
Thank goodness we've got a president now who is standing up, even to some of our allies, and saying we're insisting on fair treatment.
AMANPOUR: And what did you think when some of our allies called American policy clueless, economic policy?
CONRAD: Well, this was separate...
AMANPOUR: That doesn't show a huge amount of respect.
CONRAD: Yeah, this was separate from...
CONRAD: ... separate from the Korean deal. This -- this involved the question of what the Federal Reserve was doing, which is not the president.
CONRAD: This is the Federal Reserve policy to inject liquidity into the economy, given the fact 1 in every 6 people in this country is either underemployed or unemployed, so certainly additional steps need to be taken. I think it's very clear on the fiscal side we've about run the course. There's not going to be another stimulus package.
So if there's going to be more liquidity, it's going to have to come on the monetary side from the Federal Reserve. And to say that they're clueless, I think, frankly, demeans those who make the charge.
Look, we have -- I would be quick to remind them -- we have saved their bacon over and over and over all across Europe. They need to remember who's been there for them when they needed help.
AMANPOUR: On that note, Senator, Mr. Cote, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
And coming up next, analysis on our roundtable, with George Will, Paul Krugman of the New York Times, Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, and foreign policy analyst Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution.
Thank you very much.
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BUSH: And it's too bad they call them the Bush tax cuts. They might have a better chance of being extended if they were the Lauer tax cuts.
BOEHNER: I think extending all of the current tax rates and making them permanent will reduce the uncertainty in America.
OBAMA: I continue to believe that extending permanently the upper-income tax cuts would be a mistake and that we can't afford it.
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