'This Week' Transcript: Pelosi and Gates

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AMANPOUR: Madam Speaker, thank you so much for joining me.

PELOSI: My pleasure.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about some of the important news that's been made this week, particularly in -- in the House and that would be on Afghanistan.

Last year, 32 Democrats voted against the funding of the war in Afghanistan. This year, 102 Democrats voted against. That seems to be a dramatic rejection from the president's own party of his major strategic goal.

VIDEO: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sits down with Christiane Amanpour on "This Week."
Interview With Speaker Pelosi

PELOSI: Well, not quite. You have to put the votes in perspective.

Our president came in. He was president maybe two months, three months, by the time we took the vote last year. And the Republicans said they weren't going to vote for the funding. And so it took all Democratic votes.

I persuaded my members to give this president a chance, to give him room in order to have time to implement his plan. And in -- and in the course of time -- now the Republicans said they would vote for it, it gave my members the freedom to express themselves on the war in Afghanistan.

VIDEO: Defense Sec. Robert Gates sits down with Christiane Amanpour on "This Week."
Interview With Secretary Gates (Part 1)

AMANPOUR: Now, you didn't vote.

PELOSI: No.

AMANPOUR: I know the speaker doesn't have to vote.

PELOSI: Right.

AMANPOUR: But how would you have voted?

PELOSI: Well, we brought the bill to the floor. And that was a statement that said that we knew that our troops needed to have what was -- what they needed to have would be provided for them. So we will never abandon our men and women in uniform. On the other hand, it gave our members a chance to express their view.

VIDEO: Defense Sec. Robert Gates sits down with Christiane Amanpour on "This Week."
Interview With Secretary Gates (Part 2)

AMANPOUR: How long do you think you can keep your skeptical members, as you call them, on side?

PELOSI: Well, again, we have a -- varying degrees of expression here. We are there, we've taken an oath to defend the constitution and therefore the American people. And that's what people will be looking at -- how does this figure into our protecting the American people?

Is it worth it?

AMANPOUR: Well, is it worth it?

PELOSI: Yes.

AMANPOUR: Is it worth it?

PELOSI: That's the question.

AMANPOUR: But that's my question to you.

PELOSI: Well, we will -- as I said, we will see the metrics as they unfold in the next few months and certainly by the end of this year.

AMANPOUR: But what does your gut tell you?

PELOSI: in my visits to afghanistan, the last time i was there was over mother's day weekend to visit the troops///and the four metrics that we have always used year in and year out on these visits have been about security. And the military tells us this cannot be won militarily solely.

Secondly, governance and ending corruption.....

AMANPOUR: I'm just trying to figure out, for instance, you know, what you think is the right thing to do in Afghanistan at the moment. Look, "Time" magazine, this week, has this as its cover -- a girl whose had her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban.

You know, to put it right down to its basics, is America going to abandon the women of Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan again?

PELOSI: Well, first of all, we're in Afghanistan because it's in our strategic national interests to be so for our own national security, to stop terrorism, to increase global security. The women of Afghanistan have been a priority for many of the women in Congress -- and men, too, but the women have taken a special interest.

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