'This Week' Transcript: Speaker John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner is interviewed on 'This Week.'

ByABC News
November 6, 2011, 1:12 PM


AMANPOUR (voice-over): This week, it's been one year since he was swept to power by a Tea Party tsunami, 12 months of triumph and frustrations.

BOEHNER: I have tried all year with every fiber of being to try to get members on both sides of the aisle, try to get the president to get serious.

AMANPOUR: Now, with public anger at Congress at an all-time high, John Boehner faces his toughest challenge yet.

BOEHNER: This is hard.

AMANPOUR: Today, a "This Week" exclusive, the speaker of the House, on President Obama, the debt super-committee, and the Republican 2012 contenders.


CAIN: I have never sexually harassed anyone.

AMANPOUR: ... a bizarre twist on the campaign trail.

(UNKNOWN): Excuse me. Excuse me.

AMANPOUR: Will the skeletons in Cain's closet doom his campaign? And does this drama threaten to reshape the Republican field? Our roundtable tackles all of the week's politics, as well as the gloomy economic forecasts, and how the debt crisis in Europe affects your 401(k) here at home.

Plus, Condoleezza Rice on Barack Obama. The former secretary of state on the current commander-in-chief and the Republicans vying to replace him.

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


AMANPOUR: Good morning, and welcome to the program. We have lots to get to this morning, but first, some news since your morning papers.

Clash of the titans in Texas last night, as Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich met for the first of a series of one-on-one Lincoln-Douglas-style debates. It was a largely civil affair, the fireworks coming afterwards, when reporters peppered Cain with questions about those sexual harassment allegations that's rocked his campaign.


(UNKNOWN): Mr. Cain, the attorney for one of the women who filed sexual harassment claims against you...

CAIN: Don't even go there.


(UNKNOWN): Can I ask my question?

CAIN: No, end of story. Back on message. Read all of the other accounts. Read all of the other accounts, where everything has been answered, end of story.


AMANPOUR: Like it or not, the pizza mogul has been tabloid fodder for days, and for all the wrong reasons. In our special Sunday feature now, our man, Jon Karl, takes us through this long, strange week in politics.


KARL (voice-over): And there's Herman Cain, still looking like he's having the time of his life, still on top of the polls, and this at the end of a week we would have thought would have sunk any presidential candidate. Just think back to how it all started...

(UNKNOWN): (OFF-MIKE) you haven't been accused of sexual harassment?

KARL: The Politico story, based entirely on anonymous stories, was explosive. Two unnamed women, it said, accused Cain of sexual harassment when he was CEO of the National Restaurant Association. Cain called the story a "witch hunt."

CAIN: I have never sexually harassed anyone, and those accusations are totally false.

KARL: And the cash settlement?

CAIN: I am unaware of any sort of settlement. I hope it wasn't for much, because I didn't do anything.

KARL: A few hours after that, his memory was again improving.

CAIN: There was a financial settlement, and it was somewhere in the vicinity of three to six months' severance pay.

KARL: Pressed on why he changed his story, Cain parsed words.