'This Week' Transcript: Secretaries Gates and Clinton

TAPPER: Senator Kyl, almost the reverse question for you when it comes to the filibuster. Throughout the Bush years, you repeatedly spoke against Democrats using the filibuster. In 2008, you said this, quote, "It's been understood by both parties that you do not play politics when it comes to confirming judges, because while you may be able to stop the other party president's nominations one time, they might be able to stop yours next time. Besides which, it's not good government, it's not doing the people's business. The president was elected fair and square. He has the right to submit judicial nominees, and it's the Senate's obligation under the Constitution to act on those nominees. So are you willing to take the filibuster off the table?

KYL: I am going to abide by what became known as the rule of the gang of 14. After President Bush was elected in 2000, Democrats successfully filibustered or threatened to filibuster 12 judges on the circuit court of appeals that were nominated by President Bush, including Miguel Estrada, an extraordinarily fine individual. And that was beginning to get out of hand, and eventually 14 senators got together and said, look, we will not filibuster any judge except in extraordinary circumstances. And that's pretty much the way that it's been ever since then. And that's why I think both Chuck and I would agree that it is unlikely that there would be a filibuster, except if there is an extraordinary circumstance. I'm never going to take it off the table because of what the Democrats have achieved here, which is the possibility of a filibuster.

President Obama himself attempted to filibuster Justice Alito, who now sits on the Supreme Court. So if the president isn't going to take it off the table, I'm not going to take it off the table. But I think it can easily be avoided by appointing, frankly, the kind of person that Senator Schumer just mentioned, someone who is mainstream enough that with intellect and the application of good law can persuade colleagues to support his position or her position.

SCHUMER: And the only good news, I'd say, Jake, is I think that it's just about a certainty that the president will nominate someone in the mainstream, so the likelihood of a filibuster is tiny.

TAPPER: We only have a couple of minutes left, so I am going to exercise my prerogative against filibusters with you two, if you would, just bear with me and be very quick. I want to ask about a couple of international issues.

Senator Schumer, the Israeli newspaper "Yedioth Ahronot" quoted an anonymous confidante to President -- I'm sorry, to Prime Minister Netanyahu, calling President Obama quote, "the greatest disaster for Israel, a strategic disaster." I'm sure you have some constituents who share those views, and perhaps those concerns. Do you think that the White House has behaved towards Israel and the prime minister of Israel as you would want them to?

SCHUMER: Well, let me say this. I think everybody here in the United States, virtually everybody, and the vast majority of Israelis want peace. They're willing to accept a two-state solution. The best way to bring about that peace is let the two sides negotiate, and bring them together.

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