'This Week' Transcript: Sens Kerry and Lugar


But I agree. Unless the governance, unless we can get President Karzai to delegate more authority to the governance, to the local governors, not pick all of the people, give the tribal leaders some say into who will run things so that all of the money is not just trickling down from the top, unless we get the people there in Afghanistan to buy into what we're doing, our military have done a superb job, but there's nothing that follows once the military clears the landscape.

FREELAND: You know, I think we're accustomed to separating the discussions about foreign policy and domestic economy. But I think when it comes to Afghanistan, really, a key issue is going to be both the U.S. domestic economic debate and just how the economy is doing.

It's incredibly expensive, and unemployment is still really high. As you see the economic debate focus on actually cutting government spending, I think the national tolerance which we're already seeing is quite low among Republicans, as well as Democrats, for paying for this is going to diminish.

AMANPOUR: So let's -- let's jump to that. And the domestic, economic debate which was shown, I think, quite glaringly, wasn't it, in the -- in the Senate this week with the spending bill.

WILL: Absolutely. The -- Harry Reid decided to call the bluff of the Republicans with this $1.1 trillion spending bill, full of earmarks, many of them put there by Republicans. Indeed, the two senators from Mississippi, both Republicans, were the two largest earmarkers.

He called the Republicans' bluff, and it turns out the Republicans weren't bluffing. They swallowed their own earmarks, took them off the table, defeated the bill, which included, by the way, a billion dollars in enforcement mechanisms for the health care bill. So the war that was going to consume the next year over spending and small skirmishes has already begun.

AMANPOUR: Let me play this interesting exchange that our own Jonathan Karl had with Senator Cornyn on this issue of earmarks.


KARL: Going through this bill, there's earmark after earmark from the both of you, I mean, millions of dollars in earmarks from the two of you and from other senators. How do you have any credibility on this? Why -- why do you have earmarks in here?

CORNYN: Because we're going to vote against the bill. This is the wrong way to do business.

KARL: Senator, were you wrong when you put these earmarks in before?

CORNYN: Karl, this is not just about earmarks. Earmarks are a symptom of wasteful Washington spending that the American people have said they want reformed.

KARL: Is that an acknowledgement that it was wrong to put the earmarks in, in the first place, I guess is my question? Was that -- I mean, that's the old way of thinking. Was that a mistake?

CORNYN: You've asked the question about five times, and I've tried to answer it to the best of my ability.

Thank you.


AMANPOUR: What was it all about?

WILL: Well, exactly that. I mean, elections have consequences. The Tea Party has been heard. The Republican Party, everyone in the Republican Party feels they have a zero on -- on their back of their -- of their suit jacket. They're going to behave.

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