'This Week' Transcript: Sens Lieberman, Conrad and Hutchison

I'm excited about a new future, and I'm excited about turning it over to someone else. But I think that the Tea Party, all if all, has done a good thing for America.

AMANPOUR: And yet they say that -- I said, you're a reliable conservative, by all indicators -- they said that you personally signify everything that the Tea Party is fighting. What on Earth do they mean by that, particularly when it comes to issues such as spending cuts and the things that everybody's talking about right now?

HUTCHISON: Well, I think that's a misrepresentation of my record. I am a reliable conservative. There are some people who say that, of course. I mean, I read the blogs, and it gets kind of depressing, frankly, to read those blogs.

But, all in all, I have support of Tea Party people. I do have the support of many of the leaders of the Tea Party. And I don't think there is a Tea Party spokesman that speaks for everyone, but I have a good relationship with the Tea Party.

And, yes, there are people who think that maybe I fought too hard for Texas in spending areas, but I think I'm elected to support my state, and I have supported every spending cut, every overall spending cut. And I think we're going to have to be doing a lot more of that in the next few weeks because we all agree.

And I didn't support the stimulus. So I think that was a -- way too much spending. But we all agree now, it must be cut.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you again about this idea of centrists or moderates or at least people who can work across party lines. LIEBERMAN: Yeah.

AMANPOUR: There was a collective wail of -- of -- of sadness when all of you three decided that you wouldn't seek re-election. Is that idea of working across party lines also endangered and possibly extinct, particularly with you leaving? How many more will be left?

LIEBERMAN: Well, I hope it's not extinct. In fact, I think part of the reason why the president is doing better is that he reached out across party lines in the lame-duck session and the Republicans reached back to him. And as a result, we passed a very strong tax cut. We repealed "don't ask/don't tell." We did the START treaty.

So, look, I think part of the reason why the American people have lost some of their -- our characteristic confidence in recent years is not just the terrible recession, but the fact that, when they turned to their government in Washington, what they saw is people having partisan mud fights, not thinking about what they could do for them, the American people.

And I think when we begin to act in that way, working across party lines, coming to the center to get things done, then it not only gets things done, but it increases the characteristic American optimism and confidence.

To raise the GDP, I've been saying, we've got to raise the GDC, the gross domestic confidence. And I think we've done that. The president has led the way, and Republicans have partnered with him. I hope we can keep it going.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask a little bit about these spending cuts. The Republicans have talked about $100 billion in -- in the first fiscal year alone. Some of the Tea Party's candidates have been saying just this past week that they want even deeper cuts, much, much bigger cuts, putting them at odds, it seems, with their own leadership. How is that going to resolve itself, Senator Conrad, do you think?

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