'This Week' Transcript: Rand Paul, Rep. Mike Pence and David Stockman

Transcript: Paul, Pence and Stockman

ByABC News
October 31, 2010, 5:00 AM

November 7, 2010 — -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Welcome to viewers here and around the world. I'm Christiane Amanpour, and at the top of the news this week, the president and the new Congress.

OBAMA: We can't afford two years of just squabbling.

AMANPOUR: Is it time for compromise?

BOEHNER: The American people will want us to focus on their message during the election.

AMANPOUR: Or is it time for gridlock?

MCCONNELL: If the administration wants cooperation, it will have to begin to move in our direction.

AMANPOUR: This morning...

(UNKNOWN): We've come to take our government back!

AMANPOUR: ... Mr. Smith goes to Washington, an exclusive interview with Rand Paul, Tea Party senator-elect. Then, wedded to tax cuts.

(UNKNOWN): Cut taxes.

(UNKNOWN): Cut taxes.

(UNKNOWN): Cut taxes.

(UNKNOWN): Cut taxes.

(UNKNOWN): Cut taxes.

AMANPOUR: Their hero may be Ronald Reagan, but his tax man says that'll finish the economy off, while this Republican says tax cuts will revive it. David Stockman versus Michael Pence, an exclusive "This Week" debate.Plus, our roundtable, Democratic Senator Evan Bayh and former Obama adviser John Podesta join ABC's George Will, political director Amy Walter, and former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd.

And remembering another historic election 50 (ph) years ago this week.

Plus, the Sunday funnies.

LETTERMAN: That's where our kids will live, the future, Republicans and Democrats working together. We're screwed.


ANNOUNCER: From all across our world to the heart of our nation's capital, ABC's "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour starts now.

AMANPOUR: Hello again, everyone.After Tuesday's election, Republicans have the largest House majority since the late 1940s during the Truman administration. What they do with that majority and whether Democrats and Republicans will work together is our focus this morning.ABC's John Donvan starts us off.


DONVAN (voice-over): Listen and see if you can pick out -- and it's going to be easy, actually -- the hottest, hippest word of the week.

(UNKNOWN): Well, it was a historic election.

(UNKNOWN): A historic...

(UNKNOWN): ... historic...

(UNKNOWN): ... historic...

(UNKNOWN): ... historic night.

(UNKNOWN): ... historic...

(UNKNOWN): ... historic election.

DONVAN: You got it. What we saw in this election, a president who took a shellacking...

OBAMA: I'm sure there are easier ways to learn these lessons.

DONVAN: ... a GOP that gets to gloat again, just careful not too much...

BOEHNER: This is not a time for celebration. It's a time to roll up our sleeves and go to work.

DONVAN: That outcome made this election -- oh, here we go again...

(UNKNOWN): ... historic opportunity here...

DONVAN: Yes, historic.


DONVAN: Or maybe not. Simply put, history is the writing down of what happens, and a lot of things happened, happened even last week. Giants over Rangers to take the Series in five, it happened, but was it historic? Maybe if you live in the Bay Area.For the rest of us, though, historic is defined by what gets remembered long afterward, for changing what followed, like Susana Martinez, the Republican who won the governor's race in New Mexico Tuesday.

BLITZER: She's a Latina, and so this is historic in New Mexico.

DONVAN: Yes, Wolf, that was arguably historic. No one could achieve that first ever again. But the mere fact of the GOP capture of the House -- here is the chart, the 60-plus seats they took from the Democrats -- it's a lot, but it's not a record-breaker.The thing is, we really need to know what the Republicans ultimately do with their win to see what will really change. 1994, when they swept both houses, then something changed. They came in with clear ideas. They were listed in their Contract with America. They said they were going to work with the Democratic president.

(UNKNOWN): We can only have president at a time. It's President Clinton. And we know that we need to work with him where we can.

DONVAN: And what they got was, after a fair amount of struggle, a Democratic president to declare...

CLINTON: The era of big government is over.

DONVAN: ... welfare reform. We have never been the same, and both sides had a hand in it. This time, the main GOP idea is not Obama, not his policies...

MCCONNELL: Our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace and health spending bill.

DONVAN: ... and not really much pretense at a governing partnership.

MCCONNELL: The only way to do all of those things is to put someone in the White House who won't veto any of these things.

DONVAN: So is that the mindset that is going to make things happen in Washington that will prove that this election in the end was as historic as everyone said it was on night one?For "This Week," John Donvan, ABC News.


AMANPOUR: One of those aiming to make history is Rand Paul, senator-elect from Kentucky, and he joins me this morning.Welcome. Thank you for being here.

PAUL: Good morning.

AMANPOUR: In a way, it is, to coin a phrase, historic. There's never been a Tea Party in modern American history, and you are one of the prominent Tea Partiers. What is your first aim once you get to -- to the Senate?

PAUL: I think the debt. We have to do something about the debt. I think we've been fiscally irresponsible for a generation or more here. And the one thing about the Tea Party that's interesting is, it really is equal parts chastisement to both parties. You know, Republicans doubled the debt when we were in charge, and then Democrats are tripling the debt. And I've said this over and over again. It's not about political party, but it is about fiscally trying to do something to balance our budget.

AMANPOUR: Well, we've all seen and we followed the campaign, and there was a lot of talk, a lot of slogans and platitudes about cutting the debt, balancing the budget, cutting the deficit. But there has not been any direct information on how you're going to do that, no specifics. It was fairly content-free, the platform.So where are you going to cut in order to make a meaningful change?

PAUL: Well, some of it has to be procedural, in the sense that we need to balance our budget by law. If you force legislators to balance, at the end of the day, if it has to be balanced, then they step up and they become legislators and can find out where to cut.

AMANPOUR: So you're going to move for a balanced budget amendment?

PAUL: Absolutely. Absolutely. And short of that, we need a rule -- it takes a while to get an amendment to the Constitution -- let's have a rule that -- let's obey our rule. They passed pay-as-you-go, and they break it in the first three weeks they have it. So we need rules.


PAUL: And we need to obey the rules. The second thing you need is -- and I don't see things in terms of political party, so I think this can be something where I can work across the aisle -- but the second thing you need is a compromise on where the spending cuts come from.Republicans traditionally say, oh, we'll cut domestic spending, but we won't touch the military. The liberals -- the ones who are good -- will say, oh, we'll cut the military, but we won't cut domestic spending.

AMANPOUR: All right. Well, let's ask you.

PAUL: Bottom line is, you have to look at everything across the board.

AMANPOUR: All right. Where, then? Military? Would you cut the military?

PAUL: Yes. Yes.

AMANPOUR: By how much? Obviously, Robert Gates has made some suggestions.

PAUL: Well, I think it's hard -- it's hard to give exact numbers, but I think one thing that's concerning -- you know, recently, Admiral Milliken (ph) said that the interest on the debt now is going to approach in the next couple of years -- just the interest on the debt -- will approach what we spend in the national defense budget. So, I mean, that should alarm us all. Bernanke says the debt is unsustainable. We need to do something about it.

AMANPOUR: The question, again, is, exactly what? Because, again, the Republicans in the campaign have come up with $50 billion here, $100 billion there, a lot to you and me, but in terms of reducing a $1.3 trillion deficit, how does the math add up?