'This Week' Transcript: President Barack Obama

STEPHANOPOULOS: Ginger Zee is live from the flood zone.



CONAN O'BRIEN: Agreed to a tentative plan to hand over all its chemical weapons to Russia. Vladimir Putin said, and those weapons better not be gay.

JIMMY KIMMEL: The "New York Times" today published an unusual Op-Ed piece. It was unusual because it was written by Russian President Vladimir Putin. I like that he thinks we read the "New York Times" Op-Ed section. Unless he had it published in the crossword puzzle section, 99% of us will never see it.

JON STEWART: The Russian peace proposal, it's not a familiar one. I mean if you do a search on it, Google assumes you misspelled it.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Not a lot of love from, for Vladimir Putin from the late night comics. Let's bring in our roundtable to talk about all this. We have, from ABC, Matthew Dowd and Cokie Roberts, the Editorial Page Editor of the "Wall Street Journal" Paul Gigot and from the Congress, Republican Justin Amash and Democrat Donna Edwards. Welcome to all of you.

And Matthew let me begin with you, you saw the president, right out of the box there say we are in a better position now than we were two weeks ago. Is he right?

MATTHEW DOWD: Well yeah. Because there's an agreement between Russian and the United States and hopefully Syria. I assume Russia's been talking to Syria since this is about their country.


DOWD: Well I assume there's been conversations going on. The last two weeks I think has been one of the most fascinating periods I think that I've seen in a long time. Because first of all we were going to go to war and then we weren't going to go to war. Then we're going to Congress for permission then we weren't going to go to Congress for permission. Then the president was going to give a talk and then his talk got usurped by the discussions going on, the proposals going on. And then he's about to have all these interviews and then now there's a proposal to get rid of chemical weapons.

And all the allies are all topsy-turvy. Some Republicans support him not going, some Republicans support him going to Congress asking permission, some are against it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you heard the president, he said that all doesn't matter we ended up in the right place.

DOWD: Well that's what I'm saying. I'm saying in the end, I think you know it's, he, using a football analogy, here's a guy that fumbled to the goal line, here's a guy that fumbled to the goal line and scored on the goal line and many people are criticizing because he wasn't more efficient or more disciplined about a rush on the field.

COKIE ROBERTS: A lot of people feel that way about the Cuban Missile Crisis in retrospect. In going--


ROBERTS: Exactly. Kennedy essentially stumbled toward success. And I think the big difference here is we've known every step of the way. Not only do we know every thought that's going on, people are not, it's all in real time. So that it looks so dis--just disheveled.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Congressman on the substance, some of your Republican colleagues, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, harshly criticizing the agreement. They say they see it as an act of provocative weakness on American's part. We cannot imagine a worse signal to send to Iran as it continues its push for a nuclear weapon. Do you agree?

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