'This Week' Transcript: Sen. John McCain

After all, the United States is investing billions and billions of dollars in Pakistan. And we have -- taxpayers have a right to have a return on that. So I want to -- and I think we will -- set up some benchmarks for Afghanistan, add (ph) the same kind of thing we did with Iraq, and some benchmarks for Pakistan that we really expect them to meet. And it's going to be very difficult obviously is the enemy has sanctuary.

AMANPOUR: Do you see any hope in actually getting this relationship back on any kind of decent footing?

MCCAIN: I do, but part of it has to do with the Pakistanis' belief in the length and depth of our commitment. If they think we're leaving, they have to stay in the neighborhood, and it's the toughest and most dangerous neighborhood. If they think we're willing to see it through with them, I think it's much more likely we'll get their cooperation.

AMANPOUR: Let's move to domestic politics, which obviously shapes all of this, including what you called war weariness, but also the weariness of paying the immense amount of money that it's costing. ABC poll says somewhere between 45 percent and 46 percent of those polled say that they're not satisfied with the candidates as yet. Are you -- and they want somebody else. Would you consider yourself satisfied with the slate that's already up there? Or you one of the 46 percent who wants to see somebody else jump in?

MCCAIN: I'm satisfied. I think there may be others who jump in, but I'm satisfied. This is the beginning of a process. But I'm confident that we will come up with a candidate that will be very competitive with President Obama.

AMANPOUR: And are you ready -- will you endorse somebody?

MCCAIN: I think it's inappropriate for me to. But I do want to send a message, and that is that we cannot move into an isolationist party. We cannot repeat the lessons of the 1930s, when the United States of America stood by while bad things happened in the world. We are the lead nation in the world, and America matters, and we must lead. But sometimes that leadership entails sacrifice, sadly.

AMANPOUR: Senator McCain, thank you very much for being with us.

MCCAIN: Thank you for having me on.


AMANPOUR: As you heard, strong words from John McCain on Pakistan. And up next, I'll ask that country's ambassador, what will it take to save the American-Pakistan alliance? And Liz Cheney will join us to lay down some benchmarks of her own.


AMANPOUR: A key question this week: Are Republican hawks changing their tune on America's wars? And how does the United States mend relations with Pakistan, which is a crucial ally in the fight against terrorism and extremism? That relationship has been sorely tested since Osama bin Laden was discovered hiding in Pakistan. And this week, another setback, when we learned that the Pakistani military had rounded up some of the informants belonging to the CIA who had led the United States to bin Laden. And that triggered this testy back-and-forth on Capitol Hill.


LEAHY: How long do we support governments that lie to us?

GATES: Most governments lie to each other. That's the way business gets done.

LEAHY: Do they also arrest -- do they also arrest the people that help us...

GATES: Sometimes.

LEAHY: ... when they say they're our allies?

GATES: Sometimes.

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