'This Week' Transcript: Tony Blair

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And, in the end, the queen did that, I think, magnificently, actually and did it with a pretty flawless instinct in fact. but it was difficult for me because I was a new prime minister and I didn't really know the queen.

AMANPOUR: You talk about going up to, I think, Balmoral in Scotland, have the annual royal barbeque. The queen was actually there stacking dishes?

BLAIR: there's an annual event, which is the prime minister goes and spends a weekend with the queen at Balmoral the procedure there is that the cooking and the cleaning up is done by the royal family itself. So you have a slightly odd situation where you're sitting there and you're obviously very nervous around the queen, who you've grown up with and so on. And -- and Prince Philip is doing the cooking and the queen is stacking the plates and doing the washing up. It's a slightly unnerving experience, actually. But it was -- I mean they do it very graciously in a really lovely way.

AMANPOUR: Well, on that note...

BLAIR: Yes. Well, thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: Thank you, Tony Blair, for joining us.

BLAIR: Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: No one can doubt President Obama's support for our troops or his love of country and commitment to our security.

MCCAIN: What he should have said, "I opposed the surge. I was wrong."

BOEHNER: Some leaders who opposed, criticized, and fought tooth and nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claims credit for the results.

BIDEN: If John Boehner or anybody else wants to say the surge did this, fine. Fine. The fact of the matter is, we're not there yet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: The debate on Iraq, one of the foreign policy topics we'll get to on the roundtable this morning with George Will, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, Mary Jordan, editor and former London bureau chief of the Washington Post, and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.

Welcome to you all.

And, of course, while the president did spend a lot of this last week on foreign policy, he's going to be turning to domestic policy and, most notably, the economy in this coming week. So let me start. He's going to have a big speech in Cleveland on Wednesday. What does he have to say, George?

WILL: Well, he has to say that things are going to get better fast, but he can't plausibly say that. In December 2007, when the recession began, at that point to now, Americans have lost about $10 trillion of net household wealth because of the housing values and 401(k)s and all the rest.

Furthermore, they had at that point -- they were very highly leveraged. They had $2.6 trillion of household consumer debt. Now it's only down to $2.4 trillion, which means they're still slowly shedding debt.

Furthermore, only 25 percent of Americans tell people that they think their income will be better next year than this year. All of these add up to the reasons why they're not spending and why, therefore, corporations are sitting on a sum of money twice as large as the stimulus.

AMANPOUR: Before I get to -- go ahead, Paul.

KRUGMAN: No, I mean, this is -- this has the feeling of a nightmare, something that you saw coming. Back in January '09, when Obama was first announcing his plans, a number of us said, you know, this is not commensurate with the scale of the crisis. It is, in fact, as bad as George said.

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