'This Week' Transcript: Asa Hutchinson, Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Asa Hutchinson, Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sen. Amy Klobuchar are interviewed.

ByABC News
December 22, 2012, 1:04 PM

2012-12-23— -- STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."


SEN. HARRY REID, D-NEV.: The clock is ticking.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Nobody gets 100 percent of what they want.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Fiscal cliff chaos.

REP. JOHN A. BOEHNER, R-OHIO, HOUSE SPEAKER: Not the outcome that I wanted, but it was the will of the House.

STEPHANOPOULOS: After Speaker Boehner's stinging defeat, is there any way to salvage a deal and strengthen our economy?

BOEHNER: How we get there, God only knows.

OBAMA: I actually still think we can get it done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Defiance from the NRA.

WAYNE LAPIERRE, CEO, NRA: Blood-soaked films out there. Violent video games. The national media machine. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And a new pick for secretary of state.

Our headliner this morning, the NRA's new point person on school shootings, Asa Hutchinson.

Then the Senate debate with Republican Johnny Isakson and Democrat Amy Klobuchar. Plus, our powerhouse roundtable with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, anti-tax activist and NRA board member Grover Norquist, Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, Katrina Vanden Heuvel of The Nation, and ABC's own Matthew Dowd.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos. Reporting from ABC News headquarters, George Stephanopoulos.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello, again. The president and Congress are off for Christmas, fleeing a Capitol filled with partisan rancor and political dysfunction. Fiscal cliff talks have completely collapsed. Questions about the president's new national security team have forced him to announce the appointments piecemeal, and the National Rifle Association's first response to last week's tragedy in Newtown has provoked a fierce debate. We'll cover all that today, starting with the NRA's choice to lead a national effort to protect schools, former congressman and top official at the Homeland Security Department, Asa Hutchinson.

Good morning, Mr. Hutchinson. Thanks for joining us this morning.

You emphasized at the press conference Friday that you will be independent. But as you begin your effort, this national school shield initiative, I wonder if you agree with the analysis of the problem laid out by Wayne LaPierre. He says Americans have to face this truth. Take a look.


LAPIERRE: Politicians pass laws for gun-free school zones, and in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you personally believe, Congressman, that gun-free school zones have been invitations to mayhem, and the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun?

HUTCHINSON: Well, I think that when you look at school safety, you've got to put armed guards into the equation. I've made it clear that it should not be a mandatory law, that every school has this. There should be local choice, but absolutely, I believe that protecting our children with an armed guard who is trained is an important part of the equation.