'This Week' Transcript: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett

PHOTO: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is interviewed on "This Week" about the fallout from the Penn State abuse scandal.ABC
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is interviewed on "This Week" about the fallout from the Penn State abuse scandal.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): This week, the reckoning at Penn State, rioting, and regret, as a football icon and top college brass stand accused of shielding an alleged pedophile in their midst.

OBAMA: I think it's a good time for us to do some soul-searching.

AMANPOUR: Our headliner today, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. As state attorney general, he launched the sex abuse investigation that exploded into public view this week.

Also today, unanswered questions in the sexual harassment scandal engulfing Herman Cain, as Newt Gingrich rises...

GINGRICH: Our model is the tortoise. Every day, we get up and we go a few more steps in the right direction.

AMANPOUR: ... and Rick Perry falls.

PERRY: Oops.

AMANPOUR: The roundtable on a dramatic week in the race for the White House.

And later, a dreaded headline on Iran. U.N. weapons inspectors reveal new evidence the country is working on a nuclear weapons device. Can the United States do anything to stop it now?


ANNOUNCER: Live from the Newseum in Washington, "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour starts right now.

AMANPOUR: Good morning, and welcome to the program.

Today, we address the lack of accountability and public trust on the gridiron and on the campaign trail. Lots to get to this hour, but we begin with some news since your morning papers.

Violence last night at several Occupy Wall Street protests around the country. In Portland, Oregon, demonstrators clashed with police, defying the city's effort to roust them from a city park.

And in Philadelphia, police say a woman was raped by a fellow protester in a tent set up outside city hall. The alleged attacker is under arrest.

In South Carolina last night, it was the world according to the Republican candidates, as they laid out their prescriptions for foreign policy in another debate. The hot topic was how to deal with Iran's nuclear program, which we'll discuss later in this program.

But of course, everyone was watching to see if Rick Perry would make it through unscathed. He did.

Of course, this year being what it is, Rick Perry will get many, many more opportunities to prove himself on the debate stage. It's hard to overestimate how much grief the Texas governor got over the past few days. And our man, Jon Karl, has the play-by-play in his special trip through this week in politics.


KARL (voice-over): What would a week in politics be without one of Mitt Romney's opponents blowing himself up?

HARWOOD: But you can't name the third one?

PERRY: The third agency of government I would -- I would do away with, the Education, the...


(UNKNOWN): Commerce.

PERRY: Commerce. And let's see. I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops.

KARL: A disaster, no doubt, even if we really liked Perry's Top 10 excuses for why it happened.

LETTERMAN: At number six...

PERRY: Hey, listen. You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you? That is one handsome dude.



KARL: Was the gaffe big enough to destroy his chances? Maybe. Debate flubs already had Perry on thin ice.

PERRY: ... was -- was before he was before...

KARL: But Perry isn't slinking away. He responded with the biggest media offensive of his campaign, a blizzard of interviews and a million-dollar ad buy on Fox News.

PERRY: I learned the values of hard work, faith, and family.

KARL: Before you count Perry out, consider the Whac-a-Mole effect we talked about a few weeks ago. Every time one of Romney's opponents goes down, another pops up. Bam, bam, bam, some of them popping up over and over again no matter how much they're hit.

Look at Herman Cain. Another week of brutal allegations, even jokes about Anita Hill. The Cain train keeps chugging along. Republicans at Wednesday's debate booed when the moderators asked about the allegations. And look at how the crowd reacted when the moderators moved on.

HARWOOD: Governor Huntsman, let me switch back to the economy.


KARL: Mitt Romney must feel a little like Wile E. Coyote, his opponents like the Road Runner. That anvil never seems to hit them.

Not long after Sharon Bialek unleashed the most serious allegations against Cain...

BIALEK: And he put his hand on my leg, under my skirt...

KARL: ... we met with him for an exclusive interview.

(on-screen): Let's be clear. You're saying that she is lying about this?

CAIN: Yes, I am saying that, you know, in as nice a way as -- I don't know any other way to say it.

KARL (voice-over): No shortage of confidence here.

(on-screen): Name the fifth president who belongs on Mount Rushmore.

CAIN: He hasn't been president yet.

KARL (voice-over): Cain on Rushmore? How about Newt? He's the new comeback kid. The days of Greek cruises and $500,000 lines of credit at Tiffany's are over. Newt scored big in the debates by hammering the news media instead of his opponents.

GINGRICH: I have yet to hear a single reporter ask a single Occupy Wall Street person a single rational question about the economy that would lead them to say, for example, who's going to pay for the park you're occupying if there are no businesses making a profit?


KARL: It seems to be working. Several polls this week put Gingrich neck and neck with Romney and Cain.

Finally, trending. Up, Newt. And he told us this week that "Dancing Queen" is his theme song.

Up, Christmas trees. The Obama administration threatened to tax them this week, but backed off, at least for now.

Down, Rick Perry.

PERRY: Oops.

KARL: For "This Week in Politics," I'm Jonathan Karl. Meep, meep.


AMANPOUR: So an eventful week on the campaign trail, but not enough to eclipse the story that continues to shock America, the unfolding scandal at Penn State, the outrage of a revered coach and esteemed university president looking the other way as an alleged pedophile preyed on children.

Yesterday, the Nittany Lions took to the field for the first time since the sordid story spilled into the open. Before kickoff, a moment of silence, as players dropped to their knees in recognition of the young victims. The Lions lost the game, their first without Coach Joe Paterno. And this morning, emotions on campus and around the state remain raw.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett was the attorney general who began investigating accused sexual predator Jerry Sandusky, and he joins me now from Harrisburg.

Governor, thank you for joining me.

CORBETT: Thank you for having me on, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Let -- let me just ask you, why do you think it took this sort of public shaming for the university to finally act? Why do you think everyone, basically, hid this thing for so long, from the president to Coach Paterno?

CORBETT: Well, Christiane, first, I have to put on the record that it's hard for me to talk about a lot of the -- the past. We have to look to the future, because I was the attorney general involved in the investigation. I have certain ethical rules that I have to follow.

But I would note that the board of trustees has appointed Ken Frazier to lead the investigation, along with my secretary of education, to determine exactly the question that you're asking. What happened? Why did it happen? And most importantly, how does the university move on from here?

I think that you saw yesterday a very good outpouring of support for everyone. When those two teams came together and, really, that whole stadium came together with those two teams.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me -- let me ask you, because this is obviously massively serious. And I understand your ethical and legal obligations. However, don't you think that the mere risk that somebody who you've been investigating for more than two years, the mere risk that he could have continued to abuse during this investigation, demanded a call to the police? Should that not have been, at the very least, something that the coach, that the president should have done?

CORBETT: We would have expected law enforcement to have been involved much sooner than it got involved. And as you know from newspaper reports, our office, as the attorney general became involved, not in a case related to the university, but in a case from a next-door county, Clinton County, and a school there, where Mr. Sandusky was helping out as a coach.

AMANPOUR: Do you think others are going to be held accountable? How far up do you think that this should go? Do you think Coach Paterno is going to face legal issues?

CORBETT: Well, as you know, again, Attorney General Linda Kelly has already said at this point that he's not a subject of the investigation. And she stopped at that point.

When you have investigations like this -- and I'm not going to talk about this one -- but the one thing you learn when you're conducting investigations is that, as people face charges, they may start to cooperate, they may start talking about different things. The investigation is an ongoing one. So, because of that, I can't make projections or speculation as to where this may go.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you about the former graduate assistant coach, Mike McQueary, who allegedly witnessed Sandusky actually raping a child at Penn State in 2002, but did not intervene. You have said that if you -- if it had been you, you would have intervened. Why do you think that he didn't? And why do you think that that was not taken up the chain of command?

CORBETT: That's a good question for Coach McQueary, as to why something didn't happen. I'm sure it's going to be answered at some point in time during the course of the facts being revealed in this investigation over the course of a trial. Mr. McQueary is a witness in this trial. And I'm sure that the facts will be determined as to exactly how far up that knowledge was passed through the chain of command.

AMANPOUR: Do you think that Joe Paterno should have come out and actually talked to the students about what happened, instead of just allowing this rioting to go on, I mean, take some responsibility?

CORBETT: Well, it's not for me to figure out what's going through Joe Paterno's mind. Certainly, he was under a great deal of pressure, a shock that he'd just been told that he was no longer the coach of Penn State. And I think your question was one that you have to deliver to him.

AMANPOUR: What do you think? Do you think adults should take responsibility for so brazenly failing children?

CORBETT: Well, in my role as attorney general, my role as a U.S. attorney, and now as governor, I believe adults should always stand up for children.

AMANPOUR: Governor, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

CORBETT: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And clearly, in this case, they didn't.

For some perspective on the Penn State story, let's bring in USA Today sportswriter Christine Brennan.

Christine, what happened? Is this really just yet another example of how hallowed these sports teams are, how untouchable they are on college campuses?

BRENNAN: Absolutely, Christiane. Let's look at the culture of college football. McQueary, of course, is the man, as you just mentioned, who witnessed -- allegedly witnessed this rape of a 10-year-old boy in the showers at Penn State. And I believe he thought he was doing a lot, that he was going above and beyond by going to Joe Paterno's house the next day and telling the revered coach what he saw.

In this case, unfortunately, in this world of college football, Joe Paterno is bigger than the police. These college programs, people love them. People watch them. I've been around them for decades. And they kind of go into hibernation in July or August, and they come up for air in January, after the bowl games, and they're living in an entirely different world than you and I.

And so the fact that this man saw this reprehensible thing and, as I said, I believe we'll find out that he thought he was going above and beyond by going to Joe Paterno's house on a day off to tell the coach. And I think that tells us all we need to know about how out-of-control college football programs are.

AMANPOUR: And discussing with my fellow round-tablers and others, I mean, at the very least perhaps he could have gone and stopped it, stopped what he was seeing happening in front of his eyes.

But let me ask you. Everybody's sort talking about this as if it's only just come out into the open. As you well know, the Harrisburg local newspaper started reporting this, you know, last March, March of this year, and yet nothing was said about it. It didn't have a ripple effect. How do you explain that?

BRENNAN: It's stunning, except for the fact that -- and in the Internet day and age, too, of course, where you would think this story would get some traction. This is such a monumental disaster and such a window into the world of this fiefdom, this world of not only college football, but Penn State, where, as you know, the president of the university said after reading the grand jury -- those 23 awful pages of the grand jury report, the president, Graham Spanier, said that -- called the charges "groundless" and gave his unconditional support to the two men who now are gone from the team -- or from the university.

So I think that there was such a culture, a groupthink that was either in denial or either knew about Sandusky and didn't want to go any further with it, we'll get to those answers eventually. But you're right. How in the world does -- you know, this explodes and you have this reaction all week, and yet, as you said, people in Pennsylvania have known about this for years.

AMANPOUR: And just very briefly, is there any realistic thought that this kind of thing will be corrected? And, of course, this is the extreme of an ongoing list of things that go on. Anything goes, win at all costs in college sports. Is there any way that you think this will really not happen again?

BRENNAN: It's a great question. And I think the hope really comes in if the university president -- if the outrage is so extreme, university presidents, maybe 20 or 25, get together and say, "This has got to stop," and they take back their universities from these run-amok college football programs and other college sports that are causing so much trouble.

AMANPOUR: Christine Brennan, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.

AMANPOUR: And now, of course, we now bring in our roundtable. President Obama, though, has called the situation at Penn State "horrifying," "a moment for soul-searching." And as I said, we bring in our roundtable, George Will, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, Dana Loesch, founder of the St. Louis Tea Party and editor of BigJournalism.com, and ABC senior political correspondent Jon Karl.

George, what have we learned from this?

WILL: Well, first, what we still need to learn is, how graphic was the description that the assistant coach gave to Joe Paterno about what he'd seen in the shower? Because that would tell us the degree of Joe Paterno's culpability.

What we've seen here -- and Christine had it exactly right -- when you graft a multi-billion-dollar entertainment industry anomalously on to higher education, you produce a bubble of entitlements and exemptions, and eventually a simple moral derangement.


BRAZILE: George, I don't know if explaining the details would have made any parent, any adult just suspect and immediately call the police. My initial reaction, had I witnessed that, would have been to pick up something to stop it, to stop the act itself, to call upon the adult to, you know, stop, to protect that child, call the police, and then inform everybody else later, as -- but, look, this was a moral failure, a human tragedy. And as a former college athlete and high school athlete, I mean, this is just upsetting to many of us.

AMANPOUR: And it happens in other sports, too. ABC News has done investigations on, for instance, the lady's swimming team.

BRAZILE: And that's why it needs to become a teachable moment. I know that's a word that we use a lot in politics, but, no, college football, college sports has gotten out of hand. And it's time that we take a look inside of it.

AMANPOUR: Do you think there will be, as President Obama said, real soul-searching, Dana?

LOESCH: I hope so. I hope so at this point. I just -- I'm trying to get my mind around the fact, as Donna and George were saying, that you see something like this happen right before your eyes and your first reaction is to wait a day, and then go and tell Coach Paterno what had happened, and then go through the process of going to the administration, and so on and so forth. I hope there's going to be some soul-searching. Someone's first reaction, aside from feeling physically ill, should be to physically stop it.

KARL: Well, and if you want to send a message on this, you cancel the rest of the football season. Why are they still playing? Why doesn't the NCAA come out and say, "Done, Penn State's football season is over"? What's going to happen? Are they be playing in a bowl game? I mean, send a message, a clear, unmistakable message that this will not happen again.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you now, let's turn to the other headline in politics, and that are the still unanswered issues and allegations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain. And I want to ask you, Jon, as a reporter, we witnessed on Wednesday night a reporter trying to ask this question at a debate, and he was roundly booed, as if it is not our job to ask these questions.

KARL: Yeah, well, look, Cain's core supporters see this as all the more reason to support him. And, frankly, until -- unless there are more women that come forward and, you know, decide to have a press conference of all his accusers, looks like is not going to happen, it's hard for me to see where the story's going to go.

Cain has made it clear he is not going to answer any more questions about this, even peripheral questions. He's completely done with it. I think, frankly, his bigger concern as a candidate, maybe his inability, as we saw in last night's debate, to talk about some foreign policy questions, you know, to meet the commander-in-chief test. I think that's going to be what we're going to see next with Herman Cain.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, George, though, have we seen the end of this story, when it comes to Herman Cain? I mean, this is a gentleman who is running for the highest office in the land and in the world.

WILL: A rule is, when there are four women, there may be 24, that there's a pattern here. He says there's no pattern, because all four are not telling the truth. Well, we shall see.

For Republicans, it is a teachable moment, because Republicans have said, over and over again, character matters in leadership. We have this powerful government. All more power the government has, the more character matters in the chief executive. And this is a test for them.

BRAZILE: Mr. Cain has received a little bit of what I call a martyr status among some Republicans. And that may be the wrong message to send to someone who is a novice at presidential politics.

The truth is, is that he was defiant, he was defensive. Four women, two have come out, and then they went right ahead and start attacking those two women, who are still anonymous. He attacked former Speaker Pelosi. He made fun of Anita Hill. This is not a good sign of a candidate who would like to remain a frontrunner in the Republican race.

AMANPOUR: And he's still top of the polls. Let me ask you, George, about Rick Perry, who as we all know had a very, very, very bad week, not just his first bad week. Why should anyone believe that he can turn it around? And I know you want to take care of some personal housekeeping this week, as well.

WILL: Yes, for more than 30 years, my wife, Mari, has been in the political business. She was a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan's campaign and his White House. She was his last White House director of communications. As part of her profession, which is to consult with businesses and congenial political candidates, she has been in the political business off and on for 30 years. Last Monday, she became part of the Perry campaign, specializing in messaging and debate preparation.

AMANPOUR: Isn't she banging her fists against her head then?


WILL: No, that's what she's there for, is to fix things. Some of the more excitable and perhaps less mature members of the Romney campaign have tried to make this personal. At the Michigan debate, after the debate, Mari waved to Ann and Mitt Romney. They came over and talked. They've been guests at our dinner table. And Romney gave her a kiss on the cheek, and they went their separate ways. They're both mature professionals.

AMANPOUR: You -- you have -- when Rick Perry first started to get in, you were quite optimistic about his chances. Do you feel now that he has a chance? I mean, it's not just his gaffes. It's his poll numbers.

WILL: Well, he's got better advisers. Beyond that, his poll numbers are down. He had a steep climb before Wednesday night. This climb got steeper. But I would remind you that in -- in 2008 campaign, a presidential candidate gave a speech in Oregon in which he said, "I've visited all 57 states and have one more to go."


WILL: That man is in the White House today.

AMANPOUR: On that note, let us just look at what Rick Perry said at last night's debate, obviously, playing on the -- on the big gaffe he did on Wednesday night.


PELLEY: Governor Perry, you advocate the elimination of the Department of Energy. If you eliminate the Department of Energy...

PERRY: Glad you remembered it.


PELLEY: I've had some time to think about it, sir.

PERRY: Me, too.



AMANPOUR: Dana, has he neutralized any worries about his weakness as a debater and on the issues?

LOESCH: I think he's coming around. He's -- I think the smartest thing that he did -- and this is sort of interesting, as well, because the week prior to this debate, he and his campaign had been saying that they were considering seeking less media attention and going to less debates. And now it's a complete 180. Now there's not a camera that Rick Perry will not get in front of. He even went on Dave Letterman, which I thought was great, because I think it did neutralize some of the criticism. I think it gives him a little bit more media time, so he can get used to the pressure and the scrutiny. And it helps his perception in the public's eyes.

AMANPOUR: And, Jon, what about the real issue of his poll numbers? And are his donors, fundraisers feeling a little swishy?

KARL: From all I hear is that the fundraising has essentially dried up for Perry. I mean, look, his campaign was in serious trouble before he had his debate performance on Wednesday. I will say, he had a very strong debate last night. It was by far Perry's strongest debate. You could argue -- you saw he was kind of funny at times. He was substantive. He was -- he was strong. You could say that if he had been doing this all along, he'd probably still be the frontrunner. But it's -- it's a really steep climb right now for Perry.

AMANPOUR: A quick round for all of you. Look at the new McClatchy-Marist poll. Mitt Romney, with his trusty 23 percent, as ever, but Newt Gingrich, back from the dead, maybe, and in second place. How did that happen, Donna?

BRAZILE: Well, he's had steady debate performance. He understands that, by attacking the media, taking on media during these debates, he wins the day. He's still a darling of the conservatives. Remember, he was a popular speaker for the Republican side.

AMANPOUR: Do we think Newt Gingrich is going to rise, George? Is he the latest anti-Romney or...

WILL: He's the flavor of the week, and he's a skillful campaigner, and he has perfect pitch for certain Republican constituencies. But, again, you've put your finger on the striking number there, which is that Mitt Romney's support fluctuates wildly between 23 percent and 25 percent.

KARL: And the other anti-Romney is like a yo-yo, up and down, up and down. But, you know, look, Romney has got some serious problems in terms of closing this deal. But this race, you could argue, is as wide open as it has ever been.

AMANPOUR: We're going to continue this right after a break.

And up next, crunch time for the super-committee. Will the lawmakers beat the clock and fend off budget doomsday? The roundtable reads the smoke signals when we return.


AMANPOUR: Repent, the end is near, well, for the super-committee, at least. They have got less than two weeks to figure out how to shave $1.3 trillion off the deficit. Miss that November 23rd deadline, and they'll trigger draconian slate of budget cuts. Let's bring back the roundtable.

So, Jon, is the super-committee going to make this deadline?

KARL: From all of my talks with people on the Hill, the super-committee is on the brink of failure. And barring an 11th minute breakthrough that we don't see any signs of right now, it will fail. It will fail to produce -- now, it may -- my prediction is that they -- that they do something, but it would be a much smaller number than $1.2 trillion. And it will be seen, as it should be, as a failure.

AMANPOUR: Donna, Senator Mitch McConnell thinks that this is all a White House design. Let's just put this up and see what the senator just said this week.


MCCONNELL: It does raise your suspicion that the folks down at the White House are pulling for failure, because, you see, if the joint committee succeeds, it steps on the storyline that they've been peddling, which is that you can't do anything with the Republicans in Congress.


AMANPOUR: What about your storyline?

BRAZILE: Oh, I don't think so. Look, the White House has put forward a big deal, a big bargain, you know, with more cuts that most Democrats will basically say, "No way, let's not cut so deeply into the entitlement programs."

This is still about the Bush tax cuts. It's still about raising revenue. And the -- the Republicans have not put -- put forward a reasonable plan to -- to really, you know, make a deal with the Democrats. So I -- I see a deadlock. And I also believe they're going to kick this down the road.

WILL: They wanted more revenues, the Democrats did, so Pat Toomey, former chairman of the Club for Growth, tax-aphobic if anyone is, put forward hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenues by largely devaluing deductions for high earners, in other words, making the tax code more progressive, and the Democrats again moved the goal posts and said we're not going to do that.

Now, the real deadline is not the 23rd. It's the 21st. They've already blown past one deadline. They had to get their plan scored. The 21st, they have to have it published for 48 hours before the deadline. What happens if the sequester trigger comes into play? Nothing. Nothing happens on the 24th, because the sequester works in 2013.

Furthermore, you can draw a graph. This is federal spending without the sequester; this is federal spending with the sequester. Tiny difference. It's a tiny difference in the rate of growth of federal spending.

AMANPOUR: What's at stake for you and for your sort of constituents? Is this going to work, do you think? And the sequester that George is talking about, if it does go into effect, it really heavily affects military spending.

LOESCH: Yes. And that's sort of, I think, one of the big problems that grassroots conservatives especially had with this whole situation, is that it really focuses on defense, but nothing is really done so much about entitlement.

I personally have zero faith in the super-committee. I don't have any faith in a smaller version of Congress doing what Congress couldn't do already. So because of that -- and just because we've watched Democrats walk away last week from the plan that Republicans -- that Toomey put forward just last week. It threw them a curveball, $300 billion in revenue -- revenues raising.

But I think it comes down to an ideological difference. They want Bush tax cuts to be made permanent. They want to increase revenues by adding to the tax base, as opposed to just jacking up the rates, which I think is valid, especially when you look at tax receipts for the last six decades. And so there's an ideological difference here, but in terms of how this is going to affect us and -- and whether or not we have faith that -- I don't know how it will. We'll wait and see. And I have zero faith.

AMANPOUR: Jon, is this going to be something that we're just going to have to wait for the next election, this whole idea of cutting the spending and getting the deficit under control?

KARL: Well, George made a really critical point I think a lot of people don't really realize, which is these automatic cuts that take place if the super-committee fails don't happen until 2013. What are the odds of them really happening? I mean, Congress can simply vote them away during the lame-duck session after the 2012...


AMANPOUR: So what is this, just an exercise in futility?

KARL: Well, it's -- it's profoundly disappointing. And I think that, if they fail, the cost will be borne by incumbents everywhere. This is an indictment of Congress. It's an indictment of both parties. And it's an indictment of the White House.

WILL: That's the crucial point, because Harry Reid's interest diverged from Barack Obama's interests here. Harry Reid is defending 23 Senate seats. And he does not want his -- his Democratic candidates for Senate to be out there while the president is campaigning against a do-nothing, failed Congress.

LOESCH: Right.

BRAZILE: Well, I just want to go back to Toomey's proposal. While it was a modest recognition that revenues need to be...

KARL: Five hundred billion dollars is not modest.

BRAZILE: But, look, compared to allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, $800 billion? I mean, come on. We're looking at, you know, a proposal that would cut entitlements, cut Medicare, cut programs on people who can least afford them.

KARL: You know the Republicans weren't going to go along with allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. I mean, this was the first significant movement forward for Republicans on revenue, besides what John Boehner did with the president in their secret discussions.

BRAZILE: Well, the Democrats have already moved on entitlements, so why can't we just find a one or two billion -- trillion dollar more that -- that will allow us to achieve balance (ph)?

AMANPOUR: Let's talk a little bit about mood, which inevitably governs all these kind of debates and discussions. We saw over this last week, with elections in various different states, you know, various conservative ideas pushed back, whether it was anti-union measures in Ohio or other such things elsewhere. And some have called it a reaction to conservative overreach. How much can one read into this?

KARL: Well, I'd be careful reading too much. Clearly, conservatives lost in those two initiatives you mentioned, but look at the health care mandate in Ohio. Ohio voted overwhelmingly -- every county in the state -- to reject the centerpiece of the president's health care plan, and by a bigger margin than the referendum that put away Kasich's plan on collective bargaining.

So I would be careful in reading much. In fact, if anything, this was an incumbent election. I mean, incumbents did pretty well across the board. And that's a troubling sign for conservatives and for the Tea Party movement, because it means the momentum has waned.

AMANPOUR: So the momentum, George, right down to the latest Quinnipiac poll is basically saying that -- the new state poll out of Iowa is showing President Obama defeating all Republican comers in that new poll. Shift of mood? It's a swing state, isn't it?

WILL: It's a swing state. It's a purple state.

AMANPOUR: I actually meant Ohio. I hope I didn't say Iowa.

WILL: You did...


WILL: Well, Ohio's important to Republicans.

AMANPOUR: (inaudible)

WILL: No Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio. Republicans always spend something like the gross national product of Brazil to carry Ohio, and that puts them across the finish line.

The real problem for Republicans is they have to have a candidate who can carry the white, non-college-educated, blue-collar vote, Hillary Democrats, if you will. It used to be called Reagan Democrats. They're in play, and the Republicans need a candidate who can carry them. They lost them in Ohio last week.

BRAZILE: Well, let me just say this. More people turned out to vote against Governor Kasich's proposal than voted for Governor Kasich in 2010. This is a sign of things to come. Voters are sick and tired and frustrated of politicians overreaching, you know, basically doing things that they did not elect them to do.

They want jobs. They want to protect the economy. They're not interested in all of these side issues, whether it's the personhood amendment in Mississippi or the voter proposal in Maine and the anti-worker proposal in Ohio. And, also, remember, in the Hawkeye State, in Iowa, they also rejected one of the Tea Party-backed candidates who had proposed -- was against the marriage initiative. So this was a good day for Democrats.

AMANPOUR: All right.

On that note, up next, the Iran crisis boils over, as U.N. inspectors find new evidence that Iran is working on a nuclear device. The big question: Can America do anything to stop it now? Answers from the Republican presidential field when we return. Stay with us.

AMANPOUR: Last night, the Republican presidential candidates took on the chief foreign policy crisis facing the United States today, nuclear Iran potentially. This week, weapons inspectors said they finally have enough -- the most strong evidence, they say, to see that Iran is still working on a nuclear device.

So can it be stopped at this point? The candidates said yes.


ROMNEY: Well, it's worth putting in place crippling sanctions. It's worth working with the insurgents in the country to encourage regime change in the country. And if all else fails, if after all of the work we've done there's nothing else we can do besides take military action, then of course you take military action.

CAIN: I would not entertain military opposition. I'm talking about to help the opposition movement within the country.

PERRY: The issue that has not been raised is that this country can sanction the Iranian central bank right now and shut down that country's economy.

SANTORUM: We should be working with Israel right now to do what they did in Syria, what they did in Iraq, which is take out that nuclear capability before the next explosion we hear in Iran is a nuclear one and then the world changes.


AMANPOUR: Here with me to discuss Iran's nuclear capabilities and if any of those ideas can, in fact, deter Iran, former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright and Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International peace.

Gentlemen, thank you for being with us. This is really very, very important. David, what actually did the report say? Did it say that it -- Iran has the technology for a device right now?

ALBRIGHT: Well, it knows how to build a crude nuclear device. It's learned enough. It doesn't have the key nuclear material to do it, but it learned a lot. And prior to 2004, it had a well-structured nuclear weapons program that, if it hadn't stopped under tremendous international pressure in 2003, it probably would have succeeded today.

AMANPOUR: And is the report saying or predicting when a nuclear weapon can be built?

ALBRIGHT: No, it's not, because it -- the report clearly says that some things have continued after this abrupt halt in 2003. But it's been -- it's been unfocused. And it doesn't appear that they, for example, know how to build a warhead that could be put on a ballistic missile.

AMANPOUR: Nonetheless, this is going to be the foreign policy issue for this president and the next president. So, Karim, when you hear Mitt Romney say, if all else fails, yes, military action against Iran, most people are saying, including the administration, that that would have unintended consequences, that at best it might delay, but it would not be able to stop Iran.

SADJADPOUR: That's right. Another point, Christiane, which is very important is that we often forget that the largest anti-government protests which took place in the Middle East over the last few years were actually in Tehran, in the summer of 2009. And when you talk about military action against the Iranian regime, a regime which is deeply unpopular, ideologically bankrupt, you -- according to Israeli estimates, they could set back the nuclear clock two to three years if they were to take military action. But you could prolong this regime indefinitely. And there's...

AMANPOUR: By taking military...

SADJADPOUR: By taking military action. I think there's a great maxim from Napoleon which applies here, and that is, when your opponent is destroying himself, get out of his way.

AMANPOUR: And it could also drive the program underground, David. How counterproductive or how productive would a military strike be?

ALBRIGHT: Well, a centrifuge program, which is what Iran has, is very hard to destroy. It's not like a reactor that Israel destroyed in Syria or the reactor in Iraq. And, in fact, what you have to worry about is you'll miss key parts of it. You'll delay it a couple years. But you'll start in Iran essentially a Manhattan Project to get the bomb.

It's been very slow-moving so far. I think it's aimed at a nuclear weapon eventually. But if you attack them, particularly just by preemptively taking out a small number of their nuclear sites, which is all we know about, then you could end up accelerating their struggle to get a nuclear weapon.

AMANPOUR: And let's just discuss what Rick Santorum said. Let's take the Israeli model and blow out, like they did in Iraq and Syria. I mean, surely in Iraq and Syria, their buildings were, first of all, above ground and, secondly, not fully constructed. It's not the same issue, is it?

ALBRIGHT: Well, no, it's not, but it's also a very different kind of nuclear program. We knew that if Syria's reactor is -- is knocked out -- in fact, we -- and it's been proven -- they can't reconstitute very rapidly. But if you knock out some of the centrifuge plants and you don't knock out kind of the hearts and brains of the centrifuge program, where these are made, where they're stored, the scientists that make them, then they can reconstitute pretty quickly. It's a very different kind of nuclear program.

And, in fact, I would say, if someone knew how to knock it out, I'm sure Israel would have already struck. But it doesn't know. And that's a key -- something to keep in mind.

AMANPOUR: And, obviously, the U.S. doesn't want Israel to go out there and do that kind of thing, because what we haven't discussed is that if Iran is attacked, it's got proxies all over. It's got Hezbollah. It's got Hamas. It's got Hezbollah in Latin America. It's right next door to Afghanistan and Iraq, where U.S. forces and targets are. So there could be a huge proxy war against U.S. targets.

SADJADPOUR: That's absolutely right, Christiane. When I talk to members of Congress, whether they're from the Tea Party or from the Democratic Party, there's this mantra you hear over and over again, this idea that our constituents want us to do nation-building at home. And I think central tenets of nation-building at home is reviving the American economy and reducing our presence in the Middle East.


SADJADPOUR: The two -- the one thing that could defeat those two objectives would be a military strike against Iran...


SADJADPOUR: ... because you will see oil prices skyrocket and further inflaming of the Middle East.

AMANPOUR: Right. But when somebody like Mitt Romney says, you know, President Obama and, by the way, President Bush, as well, said that Iran will not have a nuclear weapon on my watch, and then he says it really won't if I'm president, so what is the solution, David? How does one stop it? Can one?

ALBRIGHT: Well, it can be. And, in fact, so far, Iran has been delayed getting a nuclear weapon. I think the IAEA report makes clear that if the international community had not intervened very aggressively, they probably would have a nuclear weapon now. And so I think there's a whole range of methods that have been developed, some more unsavory than others, such as cyber-attacks, sabotaging equipment. There's other...

AMANPOUR: Assassinating their scientists.

ALBRIGHT: Yes. And so some of them we don't like, but they're having an effect. Sanctions are having an effect. One of the kind of unheralded parts of sanctions has been it's made it much harder for Iran to buy vital equipment it needs for a centrifuge program.

AMANPOUR: But let's again talk about sanctions. The thing that could bring Iran down is attacking and sanctioning the central bank of Iran. But apparently, also this administration doesn't want to do that, because that would not just collapse its economy, but raise and skyrocket oil prices, which would affect the U.S. economy. So isn't the U.S. in a real bind, Karim?

SADJADPOUR: It is. I think the approach the Obama administration is taking is the opposite the Bush administration took in 2003 against Iraq, meaning in 2003, the United States took very harsh -- very harsh action with a very weak international coalition. This time around, I think the Obama administration recognizes that, in order to attain a robust international coalition, which includes countries like China and Russia, we have to take milder unilateral action, because those countries are not going to be onboard with very harsh actions.

AMANPOUR: And one other thing. People, I think, may be mixing apples and oranges here, looking at the Arab Spring and saying, well, let's help the insurgents or the rebels in Iran, of which there are none. I mean, there aren't insurgents and rebels in Iran. There's a population that's disaffected. Is it possible at -- to -- to have regime change right now there? It doesn't seem to me.

SADJADPOUR: I think the...

AMANPOUR: Or for the U.S. to affect regime change?

SADJADPOUR: No, I think almost unanimously the feedback we hear from political agitators and human rights activists in Iran is that U.S. military action or Israeli military action would be tremendously detrimental to their cause. I think the way we should help the opposition in Iran is by inhibiting the Iranian regime's ability to control information and control communications. So I tell Israelis, you know, they have a thriving tech industry. They should be helping the Iranian opposition to break down the communication and information barriers.

AMANPOUR: I mean, David, the kind of dirty, little secret is one way would be to negotiate some kind of arrangement, but that's very politically unpopular in this country. Where do you see Iran's nuclear capability six months, a year from now?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I think these methods that have been developed are delayed (ph). Their centrifuge program is not going very well now. It's performed worse this year than last.

AMANPOUR: Could there be another Stuxnet, another computer virus?

ALBRIGHT: At any time. I mean, and there was recent evidence that Stuxnet, the organizers are still active. And so you have a situation where Iran is struggling to put in what they call advanced centrifuges, but they're even struggling with that, and it's delayed.

And so these methods have paid off, and they're -- many are secret. But they are delaying Iran's nuclear program. And they probably should be accelerated, and that should be the focus, is sort of, how do you develop these alternative methods to keep Iran from making a decision to build nuclear weapons?

AMANPOUR: Thank you both very much, indeed.

And coming up, proof for all doubters that foreign aid can, indeed, save precious lives around the world. An amazing story of a child pulled back from the brink of death, when we return.


AMANPOUR: And now for the miraculous story of one little boy who's beaten the odds. It comes from the heart of Africa, Somalia, a nation plagued by drought and driven into famine. For many, relief comes in a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. For months, tens of thousands of desperate families have walked hundreds of miles to reach that camp across the border and to escape certain death.

And that's where ABC's Lama Hasan found this incredible story of survival. And we caution you, though, it is a story of hope, but some of these images are difficult to watch.


HASAN (voice-over): His name is Minhaj (ph), and this is what he looked like in mid-July, 5 months old, weighing seven pounds, a tiny child, emaciated, starving, and close to death.

Minhaj (ph) was taken in at the International Rescue Committee's hospital in Dadaab. What we saw at the camp and that hospital was heart-wrenching and impossible to forget. The ward, packed with children suffering acute malnutrition, mothers looking shell-shocked, praying their kids would live to see another day. We met 2-year-old Farhan (ph), eyes glazed over, body swollen, and skin peeling.

(on-screen): She thought her child had died.

(UNKNOWN): She thought her child was dead.

HASAN (voice-over): Newborn Shukri (ph), so hungry he was chewing his own hand. Adan (ph), another child barely alive. We were there when he was rushed to the hospital and nursed to life.

(on-screen): It's really hard to see kids like this. But what is good is it's nice to come back here and see kids that looked bad earlier in the week and see them looking well and doing better and eating by themselves. I think that's one good thing about coming back here.

(voice-over): But we never saw a miracle quite like this one. Remember Minhaj (ph)? Again, here he was in July. Now look at him today. Just four months later, healthy, happy, with hopes for a bright future.

(UNKNOWN): You can see the child, physically, he's a child who is now ready to start a new life.

HASAN: With refugees still spilling into the world's largest camp, the cry for help is still great, still loud. But Minhaj's (ph) and Adan's (ph) road to recovery are glimmers of hope in this otherwise desperate humanitarian disaster.

For "This Week," Lama Hasan, ABC News, Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya.


AMANPOUR: Hope and recovery, thanks to aid organizations and to the people who keep them going with donations, people like you, who responded so generously to our appeal over the last months. And you can go to our website at abcnews.com/thisweek for more information on how you can continue to help.

We'll be right back.


AMANPOUR: And now for a look at what's happening next week in politics.

Monday, the man with the big mo kicks off a three-day swing through Iowa, to prove the Hawkeye State is Gingrich country.

Rick Perry is right on his heels, Iowa first and then on to New Hampshire Wednesday, where he'll hit the town hall circuit in Manchester and Nashua.

Thursday, it's ladies first, or rather wannabe first ladies, when Callista Gingrich, Anita Perry, and Mary Kaye Huntsman participate in the Women Working for Change Conference in Maryland.

Friday, David Letterman gets his shot at Herman Cain.

And Saturday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel rallies for the reelect, as he keynotes the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in Des Moines.

And the late-night comedians had their hands full with Rick Perry this week. Behold the fruits of their labor, the Sunday funnies.


PEDRAD: And you still haven't named the third department.

HADER: I didn't? Oh, I know it. It's Mard. That's not a word.

SUDEIKIS: Look, Maria, can we just move on? I mean, I want to be president, but not like this.

COLBERT: I am not the only one who has compassion for this man.

(UNKNOWN): We all have sympathy for someone forgetting something.

(UNKNOWN): I think he looked human.

COLBERT: It made Perry look human. That's something Mitt Romney would die for.


COLBERT: Huntsman. Why can't the handsome, Mormon, ex-governor beat Mitt Romney? Because he is Mitt Romney, just not quite. It's like with the Baldwins. Billy's great, but given a choice, you're going to go with Alec.


AMANPOUR: And we'll be right back.


AMANPOUR: And now, "In Memoriam."


KOPPEL: It promised to be all over tonight.

BRUNO: Mondale had the chance to deliver a knockout punch tonight, and he missed it.

And what are your qualifications to serve as president, if necessary?

(UNKNOWN): Time is important here.

(UNKNOWN): A good right cut by Joe Frazier. Quickly, Ali covers up...


AMANPOUR: We remember all of those who died in war this week. The Pentagon released the names of three soldiers and Marines killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We'll be right back.


AMANPOUR: And that's our program this week. Remember, you can always follow us any time on Yahoo, Twitter, and abcnews.com. Be sure to watch "World News" with David Muir tonight for all the latest headlines. For all of us here, thank you for watching. See you next week.