'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Charles Schumer

Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Charles Schumer are interviewed.

ByABC News
January 3, 2014, 6:24 PM
PHOTO: ABC News' Cokie Roberts, The Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, Republican Strategist and CNN Contributor Ana Navarro, Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, and BuzzFeed.com Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith on 'This Week'
ABC News' Cokie Roberts, The Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, Republican Strategist and CNN Contributor Ana Navarro, Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, and BuzzFeed.com Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith on 'This Week'
ABC News

— -- Below is a rush transcript for "This Week" on January 5, 2014. It may be updated.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to This Week.

New year, new drama -- big showdowns ahead in Washington. After a damaging year of conflict, can President Obama and the congress find a path to compromise? Or will midterm elections dictate the agenda? The debates ahead with rising GOP star Rand Paul and top Democrat Chuck Schumer.

Plus, New York's new mayor comes out shoveling and swinging.


BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK: When I said I would take dead aim at the tale of two cities, I meant it.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Do liberals now have their counter to the Tea Party? That, and all of the week's politics on our powerhouse roundtable.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was inspired by him to be a better man.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The Navy SEALs lone survivor. As Hollywood takes on America's hidden heroes, our experts take us inside the special ops missions finding our military all right here this Sunday morning.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, this week with George Stephanopoulos starts now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Happy new year, everyone. And for so many of you this morning it is a frigid one. Half of the country from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, from the Rockies to the east coast, under cold weather warnings right now.

The National Weather Service calls the temperatures life-threatening. Its record-breaking cold not seen in decades and another arctic storm is on the way. So, let's get right to ABC's Gio Benitez in Chicago. Good morning, Gio.

GIO BENITEZ, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, George.

It is so cold here that so many people here are calling this Chiberia. The snow just hammering us, now that wind, too, all morning long.

And take a look, this behind me, it may look like a gorgeous skating rink, but this is actually a harbor. This is Lake Michigan.

I want to show you some of these maps right now, take a look at just how many cities are being affected by this dangerous cold. Warnings from Rapid city, to Minneapolis, to Buffalo.

And what's really concerning these wind chills tomorrow morning. Look at that. Some areas will see temperatures at 61 below zero, the kind of numbers we haven't seen here in years.

And even southern cities will be feeling the bitter cold. Look at those temperatures drop: Birmingham, 7 degrees Tuesday morning. Atlanta, 6 degrees. And once we reach Tuesday morning, we're still going to see some of those subzero temperatures here in the Midwest and into the Northeast.

So George, it is going to be a frigid couple of days here all over the place.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So much of the country affected, Gio. And as the National Weather Service reminds us, these temperatures can be dangerous.

BENITEZ: That's right. You know, that frostbite is the biggest concern right now. So, you've got to make sure you've got to cover those ears, cover those fingers and toes, because really, it can take just five minutes in those extreme sub-zero temperatures for frostbite to set in, George. It can be deadly.


And right in the middle of that deep freeze, Green Bay's Lambeau Field, the site of the famous Ice Bowl in 1967, the coldest game ever, wind chill 46 below. Thousands of die-hard fans in for another bone-chiller today when the Packers take on the 49ers. And Green Bay's Mayor Jim Schmidt joins us from Lambeau right now.

Mayor, you look like you're ready for the occasion, all decked out. But as Gio was just saying, this cold can be deadly. So what kind of precautions are you taking for all the fans who are going to be behind you today?

JIM SCHMIDT, MAYOR OF GREEN BAY: Well, we have taken quite a few. We have been really good about notifying the fans that this is going to be one of the coldest days that we've had here in Green Bay. We do encourage them to use the heated concourse, the atrium. We are giving out hand warmers to the fans who sit outside as well as hot chocolate and hot coffee.

So, I've got to ply a little common sense and I think we're going to have a great game here in Green Bay.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It could also be treacherous for the players, as well. That field could get rock hard, right?

SCHMIDT: Well, that is, you know, and that's something that the Packers have been talking about. It was covered earlier, it's uncovered now. But we play in these parts. And I think we're going to be okay, as long as Lacy gets his footing, we're going to be in good shape.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You play in those parts, I guess a lot people would say, well, Green Bay certainly has the home field advantage with that extra cold there, today. Are you going to win that bet with the San Francisco's mayor?

SCHMIDT: Yeah, I think we will. You know, it's going to be a good game. It's going to be a tough game for our Packers but you know I think we're going to win this game by about three. And I think we're more concerned about the 49ers fans, quite honestly. And make sure they're properly dressed. But I think the teams are going to play their best and I think the Packers are going to play out on top in this one.

STEPHANOPULOS: OK, mayor, thanks very much for your time this morning. Good luck today.

We're going to go to Washington now back to work this week. The big question, can they get anything done before this year's midterm elections? ABC's senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny starts us off from capital hill. Good morning, Jeff.

JEFF ZELENY, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, George. On Capitol Hill this year, there's one number that stands out above all others -- six. That's how many seats Republicans need to take control of the Senate and take over President Obama's second-term agenda.


ZELENY: With the Senate majority up for grabs, every issue comes with campaign fireworks. Up first this week, a showdown over a three-month extension of long-term unemployment benefits. Just this weekend, the president urged lawmakers to get on board.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Republicans should make it their new year's resolution to do the right thing and restore this vital economic security.

ZELENY: We met Kathy Biscotti of Baltimore, one of the 1.3 million Americans whose benefits expired late last year. She's looking for a new job and asking congress for help.

KATHY BISCOITT, UNEMPLOYED: I'm not saying that it should last forever, but we need more time. What are we supposed to do in the meantime?

ZELENY: Some Republicans say it's time to end the relief, which has been in place since the economic collapse of 2008. And that's not the only showdown ahead. From new scrutiny on government surveillance, to another battle over raising the debt ceiling. There's immigration and familiar clashes over Obamacare.

The law, finally in effect, is once again being used against vulnerable Democrats in these new campaign adds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can keep your insurance if you like it.

ZELENY: For Democrats, income equality is a new rallying cry and will be a central theme of the State of the Union Address with the president calling for an increase in the minimum wage.


ZELENY: As for Republicans, they may have a stronger political hand if they can refrain from fighting one another. Party leaders tell me they still worry those simmering feuds with the Tea Party could be the biggest thing standing in the way of winning those six elusive seats and taking control of the senate -- George?

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Jeff, thanks very much.

And with that, let's get to one of GOP's rising stars, got his foot in both camps, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Senator Paul, happy new year to you, thank you for joining us.

PAUL: Good morning.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You guys are going to begin right away this week with that fight over extending benefits to the unemployed. President Obama in his weekly address yesterday said it's cruel to deny those benefits. He wants a vote right now. And the House Speaker John Boehner says he's open to it if the benefits are paid for.

Now I know you have been opposed to the extension in the past, but if Speaker Boehner's conditions are met, can you support the extension?

PAUL: Well, I think what's really cruel is to have an economy that doesn't have jobs in it. So we have to talk about what policy creates jobs. With regard to unemployment insurance, I've always said that I'm not opposed to unemployment insurance, I am opposed to having it without paying for it.

I think it's wrong to borrow money from China or simply to print up money for it. But I'm not against having unemployment insurance.

I do think, though, that the longer you have it, that it provides some disincentive to work, and that there are many studies that indicate this. So, what I've been saying all along, we have to figure out how to create jobs and keep people from becoming long-term unemployed. That's why I promoted the economic freedom zones which would dramatically lower taxes in areas where there's long-term unemployment.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But are you saying now that if this extension is paid for, you can support it?

PAUL: Well, what I have always said is that it needs to be paid for, but we also need to do something for long-term unemployed people, and that is, we need to create something new that creates jobs. So, what I would like to do, when we get back, is one, if we extend it, we pay for it. But, two, we add something to it that would create jobs. And so what I have been promoting are economic freedom zones, which any area that has unemployment one-and-a-half times the national average, we would dramatically lower taxes to try to spur and stimulate the economy there and create jobs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Another big issue, this controversy over the NSA. You announced on Friday that you're going to be filing a class-action lawsuit against the surveillance program. Now this issue is already making its way through the courts. Two federal judges have already weighed in on it, so why is this lawsuit necessary?

PAUL: Well, the thing is, is that the point is, that one single warrant should not apply to everyone who has a cell phone in America. One of the things that Snowden released was a single court order to the company Verizon that all of their customers records would be looked at. That to my mind smacks of a generalized warrant. That's what we fought the revolutionary war over.

So, I think by bringing a class-action suit, where we have hundreds of thousands of people who come forward and say, my cell phone records are mine unless you go to a judge and ask a judge specifically for my records, you shouldn't be able to have a general warrant.

So, I think the idea of a class-action lawsuit with hundreds of thousands of participants really beats home and brings to the forefront the idea that this is a generalized warrant and it should be considered unconstitutional.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This issue of clemency for Edward Snowden also back in the news this week. The New York Times weighed in. They said that it should be considering. Here's what they wrote, "considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service."

I am trying to figure out where you stand on this. A couple of months ago we talked about this. You said that you didn't know enough then. But on Friday you said it might be a good idea for Edward Snowden and James Clapper, the head of national intelligence, who you believe perjured himself before the Congress, to share a prison cell.

So is clemency for Snowden now off the table as far as you're concerned?

PAUL: No, the reason I said that is to make a point that I can't -- I don't think we can't selectively apply the law. So James Clapper did break a law and there is a prison sentence for that. So did Edward Snowden.

I don't think Edward Snowden deserves the death penalty or life in prison. I think that's inappropriate. And I think that's why he fled, because that's what he faced.

Do I think that it's OK to leak secrets and give up national secrets and things that could endanger lives?

I don't think that's OK, either.

But I think the courts are now saying that what he revealed was something the government was doing was illegal.

So I think personally, he probably would come home for some penalty of a few years in prison, which would be probably not you look what James Clapper probably deserves for lying to Congress and that maybe if they served in a prison cell together, we'd become further enlightened as a country over what we should and shouldn't do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're smiling now, but you've taken a lot of heat for making that comparison. I just want to clarify here. So you're saying no clemency for Edward Snowden, but perhaps leniency?

PAUL: Well, I think the only way he's coming home is if someone would offer him a fair trial with a reasonable sentence. But I don't think the death penalty -- I mean we've had people all over the news, some of the same people who are defending James Clapper lying to Congress are saying off with his head or he should be hung from the nearest tree.

I don't think that's appropriate. And I think, really, in the end, history is going to judge that he revealed great abuses of our government and great abuses of our intelligence community and that James Clapper, in lying to Congress, really seriously destroyed the credibility of our intelligence agencies. And even though I actually give them the benefit of the doubt -- I don't think James Clapper is a bad person. I think he's a patriotic person who wants to stop terrorism. So I don't think he's a bad person.

But by lying to Congress, he's made us doubt and believe that maybe the government could be listening to our phone calls, even though they tell us they're not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me turn to health care. Your opposition to ObamaCare has been no secret. But I understand now that the issue has also become personal for you.

Is it true that you've actually had trouble signing up for ObamaCare...

PAUL: I have.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- and that you're not even sure your family is covered?

PAUL: At this point, I'm unsure. And the other day, I actually tried to get my son signed up through the Kentucky exchange, you know, that the Democrats have said is so good. And I have here my son's Medicaid card.

We didn't try to get him Medicaid, I'm trying to pay for his insurance. But they automatically enrolled him in Medicaid. For a month, they wouldn't talk to us because they said they weren't sure he existed. He had to go down to the welfare office, prove his existence.

Then the next thing we know, we get a Medicaid card.

So, really, most of the people in Kentucky are automatically being enrolled in Medicaid. I'm trying to pay for insurance and can't pay for it. And I'm uncertain now whether I'm enrolled DC and/or Kentucky. And it's a mess.

I keep getting an error code every time I go in. It will not let me edit my policy to try to make sure that my family is covered.

So, no, I think it's really -- this is an unfolding disaster that I don't think gets better any time soon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A final question. I want to get you on the record on immigration.

Our next guest, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, is confident that it's going to get done, a comprehensive bill will eventually get done this year.

Is he right?

I know you were opposed to the comprehensive bill earlier in the year.

But can you support Speaker Boehner's call for a series of measures on immigration?

PAUL: Yes. The reason -- and I've had this conversation with Senator Schumer before -- is that the reason it has failed is that the Senate bill that he proposed actually limited work visas and, I think, creates an incentive for more illegal immigration.

I'm for very expansive work visas. If you want to come to our country or if you're one of the 11 million who are here, I'm for giving you a work visa.

There is a debate, though, over citizenship and how quickly. I don't think the House is ready for citizenship.

So, really, the question to Democrats is will you go halfway?

Are you willing to try to bring the 11 million people who are here, bring them out of the shadows, give them an existence, try to have -- be more humane and try to get them a better situation for them?

That could happen tomorrow. The problem is, is the sticking point going to be we have to have immediate voting privileges for those who came here illegally?

I think that's more of a sticking point.

If the Democrats are willing to come halfway, I think we can pass something -- some meaningful reform that would help the 11 million who are here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, Senator Paul, thank you very much.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, Senator Paul, thank you very much.

Let's bring that question to Senator Chuck Schumer, who's right here with me in the studio.

What's the answer?

SCHUMER: Well, the bottom line is, I think that it's likely we will get immigration reform this year. The reason is simple, I think. There are large parts of the Republican Party, even conservative parts of the Republican Party, that want this -- business, Evangelical churches, the Catholic Church, high tech, growers. So it's not like some of the budget issues where all of the Republicans are on one side.

The second thing, the Republican leadership realizes that if we don't do immigration and get immigration reform done, it hurts them politically. And I think...

STEPHANOPOULOS: They've known that for a while and it didn't seem to make a difference last year.

SCHUMER: Well, it made a difference in them not taking back the Senate in 2012. And it made a difference in the Obama election in 2012. And I think it's hit home in a much harder way now.

And, finally, you want to get the economy going?

CBO said that our bipartisan immigration bill would raise GDP 3.5 percent. That's more than any Republican program of cutting taxes or any Democratic program of spending.

So I think it's going to happen. And what was indicative, George, I think, was the budget debate. For the first time, Speaker Boehner said he is not going to let the minority of his caucus, Tea Party minority, run the show. They're the people who have been opposed to immigration reform. Many of the mainstream conservatives, just like in the Senate, are for it.

So I think it's likely we're going to get a bill this year.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I heard a glimmer of hope, also, on unemployment extension from Senator Rand Paul right there. He said he was willing to support it. It seemed that he would be willing to support the extension if it were paid for and perhaps some other growth measures were added to it.

Is that the answer?

SCHUMER: Well, it's not the only answer. But we're going to bring unemployment insurance up on Monday. We hope our Republican colleagues will join us. If they don't...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the current bill isn't paid for, this (INAUDIBLE)...

SCHUMER: The current bill is a three month bill so that we can figure out what to do after that, but not hurt people who really need this, as your little clip showed. Most of the people I meet who are on unemployment are people who have had jobs for 25 years, lost them. They've been knocking on doors every week.

I think it's a little insulting -- a bit insulting to American workers when Rand Paul says that unemployment insurance is a disservice.

They want to work. They don't want unemployment benefits. They're just hanging on with unemployment benefits. You cut them off, they may lose the house they paid for, take their kids out of college.

So I would hope he would reconsider, pass the three month extension. And if they don't, it's going to be an election in 2014.

I'd make this larger point. The tectonic plates of our politics have changed. For the first five years of the Obama administration, the two issues that dominated were health care and budget deficit. This year, dealing with declining middle class incomes and not enough job growth will be the number one issue. And if, on the first day of the new session, the Republican Party says they won't even support an unemployment benefit extension -- the original round was started by George Bush when unemployment was 5.6 percent -- they're going to show themselves so far out of the mainstream, it's going to hurt them in the election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But your analysis assumes that the corner turns on ObamaCare.

Are you confident...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- it's going to be working and will not be a deadweight for your candidate?

SCHUMER: Look, look at New York. It's working well in New York. Now, we did not have the federal exchange. We had a state plan. We have 16 insurance companies competing. We're ahead of projections. And I hear from people left and right, I'm getting much better health care now than I had before.

That's going to start happening around the country.

At the same time, the 75 percent to 85 percent of people who aren't affected by the individual insurance, because they either Medicare, Medicaid, or most of them have their employer paying, are going to find that the parade of horribles that right-wing talk radio put out -- you'll lose your insurance, you'll pay more -- aren't going to happen.

And I think that the assets over 2014 are going to increase. The liabilities are going to decrease.

But all of it will be dwarfed by the issue, who's going to get middle class incomes rising again?

For the first time in a -- in history, they dropped over the last decade by a lot, 10 percent. That's why the middle class is so angry and sour.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that inequality also being addressed by your new mayor of New York here, Bill de Blasio, this week...


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- in his inauguration. And the centerpiece of his plan is to raise taxes on people earning over $500,000 a year to pay for education.

As far as I've seen, you haven't yet come out in support of this?

Do you support it or not?

SCHUMER: Well, no, I've supported an increase in taxes at the federal level, from 35 percent to 39 percent. It's a more difficult issue at the state level, because people can leave and go to Connecticut or New Jersey or somewhere else. So I've left that to them and I'm working at the federal level...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But for New York, do you support it or not?

SCHUMER: Well, I'm leaving it up to the -- to de Blasio and Cuomo to work that one out. I have enough trouble at the federal level.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're just going to stay out of this one.

SCHUMER: You got you.


Finally, clemency for Edward Snowden?

SCHUMER: No, I don't believe so. Snowden says that he's in the grand tradition of civil disobedience in this country. It is a grand tradition. Part of that tradition is you pay the consequences. If you break the law because your conscience says you have to, you stand trial. That's what -- or -- and pay the consequences. That's what Martin Luther King did, Mahatma Gandhi over in India. The most on-point case is Daniel Ellsberg.

So what Snowden ought to do is come back and stand trial and face the consequences. And he'll have his ample opportunity to say why he did what he did and all of that.

you know, there are a lot of disputes...

STEPHANOPOULOS: And maybe a lighter sentence?

SCHUMER: Well, I disagree with Rand Paul that we should plea bargain with him prior to him coming back. If he's truly in the tradition of civil disobedience, he comes back and faces the trial and the consequences that the government says he should.

One point on this, George, there are a whole lot of issues where there are disputes; how much does metadata helps us in the war on terror? The administration says a lot. Some of the critics say not at all.

How much damage did Snowden do in hurting our agents? We don't know the details. Much of that is classified.

And how is the data used? Were American citizens in the content, particularly of their -- of their logs and the metadata, was content listened into without a warrant?

All of this could come out in trial. It would be beneficial for the country to have the discussion. So running away, being helped by Russia and China, is not in the tradition of a true civil disobedient practitioner.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Schumer, thanks very much for your time this morning.

SCHUMER: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Roundtable is coming right up. With their take on the politics of 2014. Is one of our panelists planning a presidential run?

And later, inside American special ops. With our team of military experts and Mark Wahlberg of "Lone Survivor."

STEPHANOPOULOS: Roundtable is coming right up. With their take on the politics of 2014. Is one of our panelists planning a presidential run?

And later, inside American special ops. With our team of military experts and Mark Wahlberg of "Lone Survivor."



STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll be right back with the roundtable. Shaping up to be a rollicking year in politics. Not only here in the States, that crack-smoking mayor of Toronto is back in the news this week. Rob Ford is running again.


ROB FORD, MAYOR OF TORONTO: I have been the best mayor that this city has ever had. My track record speaks for itself. And I'm not running away from anyone. I want to have a full debate, anytime, anyplace. I will debate anyone, even in this backyard.




BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK: We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love.

HARRY BELAFONTE, SINGER, ACTOR AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST: Changing the stop-and-frisk law is only the tip of the iceberg in fixing our deeply Dickensian justice system.

LETITIA JAMES (D), NYC PUBLIC ADVOCATE: The decrepit homeless shelters and housing developments stand in the neglected shadow of gleaming multimillion-dollar condos.

DE BLASIO: So, today, we commit to a new progressive direction in New York.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That was the inauguration of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio this week. A lot of liberals thinking this is a sign of a resurgent Left. We're going to get into that on the roundtable.

I'm joined by Bill Kristol, editor of "The Weekly Standard"; Cokie Roberts from ABC; Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed; Brian Schweitzer, just wrapped up two terms as governor of Montana, Democrat, now spending a little bit of time in Iowa. We're going to talk about that in a little bit as well. And Republican strategist and CNN contributor, Ana Navarro.

And I do want to get to New York.

But, Bill, let's start out with what we just heard from Senator Schumer and Rand Paul. I don't want to overstate this, but I started to hear -- you started to see some optimism there on a couple of fronts that there really could be cooperation in Washington this year.

BILL KRISTOL, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": It's just the hangover of the Christmas -- of the New Year season, George.


KRISTOL: I think there could be cooperation, a bunch of Democratic senators co-sponsoring a bill, challenging the Obama administration on Iran. There have been Democrats that have voted for delaying parts of ObamaCare.

So I hope a lot of Democrats deciding to separate themselves from the Obama administration. It's amazing how strong the White House has been. You were in the White House. You know how much trouble your own party can cause for you.

Obama has been very successful at keeping Democrats alive. I think one of the big stories of the next few months is can he do that on issue after issue, especially ObamaCare and Iran.

COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Outside groups are still going to play a big role here. I think that to the degree that they can stay inside the institution itself, that they will have cooperation. We're seeing it right now happening on that big budget deal that was made before they left.

Where the word in Washington is the grownups are now in charge. The Appropriations Committee, the money spending committees, (INAUDIBLE) meeting and they're coming up with something.

But to the degree that the outside groups are agitating -- and there was just a big meeting of conservatives in Virginia, saying, we can't let them cooperate like this and start by opposing Janet Yellen's nomination to the Fed.

So it's not going to be sweetness and light.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You could see this kind of dynamic, Ana Navarro, also on the issue of immigration.

ANA NAVARRO, GOP STRATEGIST: You know, I actually think -- and I'm optimistic (INAUDIBLE). I don't agree with Chuck Schumer on a bunch of things, but I agree with him and I'm optimistic on immigration.

I think that it might be the one sweet spot and bright spot this year, but let's not fool ourselves; 2014 is an election year. This isn't going to be about love and peace. Right now, in the afterglow of the holidays, there's a lot of issues that are intended to be used as political wedge issues, whether it's the minimum wage issue, whether it's ObamaCare, there's going to be a lot of fighting this year.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think I'm being realistic. Immigration has a shot, because -- you know, it's not the issue (INAUDIBLE). It's got a shot because really Republican leadership, Republican outside groups want to do it. As Senator Schumer said, it is something where there are a lot of Republicans who can move the ball that want to get it done.

Tomorrow, Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey is signing the New Jersey version of the DREAM Act; he's having a ceremonial signing for it. He's doing it his own way because he's thinking long term; and nothing speaks more about the national implications of getting immigration done for the Republicans than what Chris Christie is doing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I see you're nodding your head there.

BRIAN SCHWEITZER (D), FORMER GOVERNOR OF MONTANA: Lot of (INAUDIBLE) coming down. And when we have high unemployment, people want to blame somebody, they blame immigrants. Now, we have unemployment coming down. We have people who are hiring again. We need people to go back to work.

So, whether you're a business Republican or a business Democrat, you understand that we've got to have a young population who are eager workers. That's why we're going to pass immigration reform.

BEN SMITH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BUZZFEED.COM: None of these Republicans you guys are mentioning are in the House of Representatives. I think that's ultimately every year, there's this wishful thinking and this consensus. Then, you go to House of Representatives and it dies.

I think there's an idea maybe right after these guys win their primary that they'll be (INAUDIBLE), where they're not yet worried about (INAUDIBLE). I don't know. It's just every year we kind of say this.

ROBERTS: There is a legislative way to do it, though, which is to bring up border security in one bill and bring up amnesty in another bill, and that's exactly what happened, you know, in the Compromise of 1850, when California came in as a free state but the fugitive slave law was part of it as well. And so, you know, you can say this was a terrible thing, but it's exactly the way it got through.


NAVARRO: We have got a fed-up, unplugged John Boehner right now that we didn't have last year, who I think is fed up with trying to accommodate folks that are not going to be accommodated ever on immigration and some other issues.

So I think what kind of leadership John Boehner exerts on this is the key for whether or not...


ROBERTS: But the primaries will get -- the primaries will determine that.

SCHWEITZER: But will it be the Republican Party that is at the Chamber of Commerce, or the Republican Party who is boiling tea in the back room? That's what we're deciding right now.

KRISTOL: How about the Republican Party that represents middle class and working class Americans?


SCHWEITZER: … Democrats.

KRISTOL: Well, they did. But you know what -- but passing immigration reform, which further undercuts -- may further undercut working class wages, is not necessarily the right way to go.

You just said, unemployment is down a lot over the last three, four years. And there wasn't immigration reform. Maybe we should let…

ROBERTS: Immigration is down too.

KRISTOL: Yes, immigration is down, too. Maybe we take a serious look at what kind of immigration we want to have and not just ram through a 1,200-page bill cobbled together in the Senate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Meanwhile, this is what is going to be talked about in Washington, at least at the beginning of the year. But one of the points you were making earlier, and I want to get into that, as well, is how despite all this talk about immigration, and health care, unemployment insurance, that a lot of President Obama's next year could get consumed by foreign policy issues.

And one of the things we're just seeing just this weekend, al Qaeda taking over two major cities in Iraq, a year after the president pulled out all of the troops.

KRISTOL: Yes. Two years, I guess, after he pulled out the troops. And a few months after he did not intervene -- well, two years after he did not intervene in Syria, a few months after he spectacularly backed off in Syria.

And guess what? It turns out that 150,000 people are getting killed in Syria and letting al Qaeda taking over the opposition there. It has effects across the border in Iraq. And we face an incredibly dangerous situation, I think, in the Middle East.

And I do think people don't want to talk about foreign policy for various reasons on both sides, but I think foreign policy will be a big (INAUDIBLE) in 2014.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, and, Cokie, Ronald Reagan, back in 1986, it was actually his salvation coming out of Iran-Contra, in his second term, reached out to Mikhail Gorbachev and an arms control agreement.

Presidents tend to have more room to maneuver, but as Bill points out, a lot of real crises here for President Obama.

ROBERTS: Well, and the Middle East is not an easy place to maneuver. Now John Kerry is there, God love him, you know, constantly, trying to bring it together. But it is a very obviously difficult region.

But, there is a strong feeling that you're picking up, especially among Europeans, that the United States is absent and that there is no leadership from the United States at the moment, and that...

STEPHANOPOULOS: He couldn't be putting more time in the -- John Kerry, in the Middle East peace process.

ROBERTS: Well, he is. But there's a sense that he is almost freelancing and that he is not getting a lot of support from the administration itself.

SCHWEITZER: Well, the Europeans are right. We have had 12 years of war. For the last 11 years, you can't find anybody left in America who can tell you, why are we still in Afghanistan?

Al Qaeda attacked us. They're not in Afghanistan. We're fighting somebody called the Taliban. They live in caves in the Stone Age. Why are we still there?

ROBERTS: Because, there is -- you know, first of all, we went there and we promised we would stay there. And we promised…

SCHWEITZER: Who did we promise? We promised Karzai, who is a crook, and his brother is the biggest drug smuggler on the planet.

KRISTOL: How is the withdrawal from Iraq and the failure to intervene in Syria working out? Do you think we're safer? Do you think al Qaeda is weaker as a result of that?


KRISTOL: Do you think al Qaeda would be weaker if we get out of Afghanistan?

SCHWEITZER: I lived in Saudi Arabia during the '80s when we were supporting Saddam Hussein, who was fighting Iran, the people that we know are the most dangerous actors in the neighborhood.

When we went into Iraq, al Qaeda didn't function there. We destabilized Iraq. We threw Saddam Hussein out, who was a bad guy, like a lot of other people in the Middle East, and now we have al Qaeda.

It's our problem. We broke the china. And now we're going to have to go back in. What's your solution?

KRISTOL: My solution is to be serious about being engaged in the Middle East, not to go back in militarily to Iraq, but not to pull out 100 percent from Iraq or Afghanistan, and leave them to go back to the same cycle that led to 9/11.

SCHWEITZER: Perpetual war in the Middle East?

KRISTOL: No, perpetual engagement and being serious about our responsibilities as a world power. And yes, being willing to fight when we have to fight. Are you against that? Are you against that?

SCHWEITZER: We went to Middle East 60 years ago because we wanted to get a supply of oil in the Middle East from Saudi Arabia. We will now be exporting oil and gas from the United States during the next six years. They are competitors. Let the Europeans…


ROBERTS: We have a moral obligation as well. It's not just an economic obligation. We said to the women of Afghanistan, we're going to make your lives better. We're going to get educated. We're going to get your children educated.

The crisis of Syrian children right now is outrageous. There are children dying every day in these refugee camps and we are just not making anything happen to make their lives better.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You make a compelling point right there. But I'll bring this to Ben Smith.

Ben, I see no appetite whatsoever in the White House to put troops back in Iraq, to insert troops in Syria, or to do anything but get troops out of Afghanistan.

SMITH: I mean, this president was like elected in a very fundamental way to pull troops out of the Middle East. I mean, that was -- as much as a mandate as he had in 2008, that was it. And I just think that it has become very clear this is not a president who is going to very aggressively intervene in any of these theaters.

I mean, the most interesting thing that happened this weekend was the U.S. signaling that Iran is going to be welcome at these talks in Geneva about…


SMITH: On Syria. You know, I mean, in the sense that maybe they can turn Iran into a constructive ally in the region. I mean, that's a very new thing.


KRISTOL: One point on that, though.

SCHWEITZER: If they put down their nukes, maybe we ought to be discussing them as…


KRISTOL: This president sent tens of thousands of American troops to Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010. And I think this gets to Cokie's point. What were we telling them that was just, what, to hold things off for a year or two? Is that why people fought and sacrificed there?

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Ana Navarro, this is one of the points that senators McCain and Lindsey Graham, who just visited the region again, recently saying that what we're seeing in Iraq proves that the United States has to leave at least some troops behind.

NAVARRO: Well, and they've also have been saying, look, you know, we warned that this was going to happen. You know, you've got al Qaeda right now in charge right now of Fallujah. We warned you that this was going to happen. And we did this sort accelerated withdrawal.

But there's the bigger problem of the overall role of the United States in the world. And I think this has not been a good year for exerting leadership. And you're hearing Democrats in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, like Bob Menendez, who is the chair, saying, we are not happy with the way things are going with Iran, and having great reservations with the Syria issue.


And, Governor Schweitzer, clearly you have passion on this issue right now, we're seeing it this morning. We've also been seeing it in Iowa. You say this is relevant for Democrats right now, reminding people about the original votes in Iraq.

And here's what you said last month in Iowa.


SCHWEITZER: George Bush got a bunch of Democrats to vote to go to that war. I was just shaking my head in Montana. And the reason I'm in Iowa, in part, is because I'm asking you to pick the leaders that are going to say, we're not going to make those mistakes. We might make mistakes again, but we're not going to make those mistakes.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, Governor, a lot of people took that as a not-so-subtle shot across the bow for Hillary Clinton. Are you thinking of challenging her?

NAVARRO: Come on, Brian, stop teasing. Give us answer.

SCHWEITZER: Here's what I'll say. Those people in Washington, D.C., most of them, did not live in the Middle East. I lived in Libya. I lived in Saudi Arabia. I watched Iraq fight that war with Iran. I knew that we were supporting Iraq during that war. And now we've created a vacuum in Iraq.

Those people who supported that Iraqi war didn't understand the politics of the Middle East. Al Qaeda wasn't there. Iraq hadn't attacked us. We made a very big mistake there. It cost us a lot of blood and a lot of treasure. And we ought not make those mistakes in the future.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's what you said then. That's what you said again now. But does that mean that you're going to challenge her if she runs? Are you seriously looking at this?

SCHWEITZER: Well, I'm looking around. But, gosh, I like Iowa.


SCHWEITZER: You know, my first trip to Iowa was when I was 4 years old. I went out there with my parents…


SCHWEITZER: I'll answer the question.


NAVARRO: Give George Stephanopoulos something to talk about.

SCHWEITZER: The ground is frozen in Montana. I can't get a stake in there.

NAVARRO: You know, by the way, Florida is an early primary state and it's 80 degrees right now there.

SCHWEITZER: Yes, I could get a stake in the ground there.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'll take it as not a no.

ROBERTS: That's right.

KRISTOL: Yes -- no, that's what I was going to say.

Look, I think, leaving aside the foreign policy side, there is a market in the Democratic Party, and you saw this with your clips of de Blasio here in New York, for a populist democrat who will run against Hillary Clinton as the former senator from Goldman Sachs, and must too close to...


STEPHANOPOULOS: And I do want to bring that to Ben.


ROBERTS: And then that person will lose the general election.


SMITH: You saw who was on-stage with de Blasio, which is Bill Clinton. And I think the Clintons are intensely aware of that. I mean, that was the most either Clinton has probably talked about inequality on that stage.

ROBERTS: Yes, but that is a big danger zone for her, because he can fail and he can fail quite spectacularly. And then, you know, she's associated with him.


STEPHANOPOULOS: … de Blasio. Yes.

NAVARRO: Can I tell you guys something. See, you're all from the Acela corridor, right, Washington, D.C., and New York. Well, guys, it's not all about you.


NAVARRO: No, no. We're from Montana and Miami. And we were talking before the show. And I said, Brian, do you think anybody in Montana knows who Bill de Blasio is? Because nobody in Miami does.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, not the mayor, but about the points that he's raising and the themes that he's running on, on this inequality theme, and anti-corporatist theme, that is a theme that you have been hitting as well.

SCHWEITZER: Love to talk about it. But the point is, you're a mayor, buster, you've got to make sure the snow gets plowed. You've got to make sure the garbage gets picked up. You've got to make sure the bad guys get locked up. Mayors have to run cities. Governors have to balance budgets. Washington, D.C., they get to talk about inequality.

ROBERTS: But that's where he can fail so miserably and that's where it can be a problem. It's also true that this notion, that this resurgence of liberalism, there's a difference between populism and liberalism.

And the liberalism, you know, we never see a poll that shows more than about 20 percent of Americans identifying themselves as liberals.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, de Blasio calls it progressivism.

ROBERTS: We know what that means.

SMITH: And I think -- you know, I think what you saw this week, actually, is probably what you'll see a lot of in New York. Like, the snow actually got picked up. And de Blasio also created this total political kind of mess around his inauguration with his very, very confrontational set of speeches.

And I think, you know, his tactical choices to not do what Obama did, to not reach out, to basically write off anybody who disagrees with him from the start.

NAVARRO: But this issue about the national implications of Bill de Blasio, in my humble opinion as a Miamian, is a bit overblown.

SCHWEITZER: A little full of themselves, I would say.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's quickly go to -- just about out of time, I want to quickly go around the table…

ROBERTS: That's because we're in New York.

STEPHANOPOULOS: … one question. What's the biggest thing Congress is going to get done this year?

KRISTOL: The biggest thing Congress is going to get done this year? I don't know. Nothing -- I mean, I think they'll succeed in taking care of the debt ceiling in February or March. And there won't be a government shutdown either on the debt ceiling or on the budget.



ROBERTS: They might do immigration. I think that is a real possibility. That would be a big thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the wildly optimistic forecast is not shutting down the government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing they really care about is raising money from the powerful and get reelected.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Another outsider.

Last word?

NAVARRO: I think with immigration and I think we may also see something on NSA. I feel the recommendations get put into law.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you all (INAUDIBLE) here this morning.

Up next, Bob Woodruff talks with Mark Wahlberg about "Lone Survivor," his new film based on the harrowing story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.


MARK WAHLBERG, ACTOR: This experience had a huge impact on him. And I completely don't like war but I love soldiers and I love what Marcus did.




STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next, Hollywood shining a bright light on America special ops. What does that mean for their dangerous missions? Analysis from our team of military experts plus Mark Wahlberg from "Lone Survivor."


STEPHANOPOULOS: Our "Sunday Spotlight" shines today on America special operations forces, their profile has soared since their takedown of Osama bin Laden. And so has their standing in the Pentagon. The special ops budget has more than quadrupled since 9/11.

Our team of experts is here to discuss their challenges these heroes face every day, and how they fit into America's military future.

But, first, ABC's Bob Woodruff sat down with the man who endured one of the deadliest days in the history of the Navy SEALs, played by mark Wahlberg in the gripping new film, "Lone Survivor."


BOB WOODRUFF, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The four SEALs were on a mission, to track down Taliban leader Ahmed Shah (ph). Mark Wahlberg plays the role of Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell in "Lone Survivor."

WOODRUFF: Your Taliban commander was a tier 1 target.

Ahmed Shah (ph) was right in your sight. Why didn't you shoot him, was it because you weren't getting a order?


WOODRUFF: Why is it that there was no communication? Was it because where you were located?

LUTTRELL: The area that we were in were so dense in the mountains that we're rolling -- it was just -- (INAUDIBLE) were just intermittent. So we had to move up or down.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): The SEALs moved up the mountain where three goat herders literally stumbled upon them. A quick and crucial decision had to be made. Should the SEALs let the herders go, knowing they'd probably alert the enemy to their location?

Or should the SEALs kill three unarmed Afghanis?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not killing kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do what we have to do.

WOODRUFF: What are the rules of engagement?

LUTTRELL: Who knows?

It maybe just depends on where you are. (INAUDIBLE) the decision yourself.

WOODRUFF: There isn't an official protocol that was (INAUDIBLE).

WAHLBERG: I was shocked even yesterday, finding out that, while we have these rules of engagement (INAUDIBLE) constantly changing, nobody else does. Nobody else has to answer to any of that.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): With the vote, the SEALs let the herders go. They ran straight to the Taliban, to Shah's (ph) men.

Within an hour, the SEALs were surrounded.

Luttrell was gravely wounded. His three SEAL brothers, Danny Dietz, Matt Axelson and Mike Murphy were killed. The special operations chopper that flew in to rescue them was shot down. Nineteen U.S. service members were lost that day.

For the film's director, Peter Berg, this is not about politics; it's about honor.

PETER BERG, FILM DIRECTOR: I thought that Marcus did an extraordinary job of giving me the opportunity to pay respect and acknowledge the sacrifice that these men are making.

WOODRUFF: Where would you rate this movie in terms of all the movies you've produced?

BERG: It was by far the most satisfying film that I have ever been involved in.

WAHLBERG: Right at the top for me, too. It's the first time that it wasn't about me, it wasn't about my experience. It wasn't about me hitting my growth as an actor. I just think about what Marcus and those guys went through.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): The story would not have been told without Muhammad Gulab (ph), the local villager who saved and cared for Luttrell, refusing to hand him over to Taliban, despite death threats.

LUTTRELL: It's definitely a blood debt. I mean, I owe him my life.

WAHLBERG: People talk about honorable men. That's honor, what he did, him risking his life and his village and his children to save a complete stranger.

How do you do that? How do you do that? And I was never privileged to see, until I went to Afghanistan, that there are a lot of amazing people over there. They are also at war with the Taliban.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): Luttrell now has a 2-year-old son, Ax, named after Matt Axelson. He doesn't know yet what he'll tell Ax about his experience.

LUTTRELL: When he gets older and if he asks about it and obviously we'll have a discussion about it with his mother and myself. He's going to see it eventually whether or not I want him to or not. Kids do that.

WAHLBERG: Yes. I have the same issue with "Boogie Nights."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were just talking about that.



"LUTTRELL": Rules of engagement says we cannot touch them.


WAHLBERG: This experience had a huge impact on me and I am -- completely don't like war, but I love soldiers and I love what Marcus did and I'm inspired by him to be a better man. Mohammed has inspired me to be a better man. I'm really glad he did what he did. I'm really glad that he did what he did so I can be sitting next to this man and be a part of telling the story of all the other guys that didn't come home.

WOODRUFF: For This Week, Bob Woodruff, ABC News, New York.


STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, let's dig into this now with our ABC team of experts. Martha Raddatz back again. Colonel Steven Ganyard who served as a fighter pilot during the Gulf War and in Bosnia. And the newest member of our military team, Vice Admiral Robert Harward, a former Navy SEAL, also the deputy commander of Central Command.

Welcome to all of you now and admiral.

Howard, let me begin with you -- first of all, welcome to ABC. You were in Afghanistan during this operation, and this wasn't -- the history of Afghanistan was a war where the special operators have dominated. Was this film true to the experience?

VICE ADMIRAL ROBERT HARWARD, FRM. NAVY SEAL: I would say it's very true and it's very graphic, as you know. But I would tell you a more important issue here I think is the dilemma this presents for the special operations community who has always prided themselves on being the quiet professionals.

So, while the story has to be told about these brave men, they also want to protect their capabilities for future mission. So, I would tell you this movie does that.

But it's very graphic and will be a painful experience, not only for the families who have lost members due to this war, but also for those who worry about their members forward every day.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Colonel Ganyard, the admiral brings up this Navy SEAL ethos, I want to put it up on the screen right now, "I do not advertise the nature of my work nor seek recognition for my actions."

Clearly happening here. But it's a way of bringing people inside that experience.

COL. STEVEN GANYARD, GULF WAR VETERAN: It is. And extraordinary stories that are being told here, because of the extraordinary courage and the virtuous people who have been fighting this war for us overseas.

So, what we see here is something that the admiral wants to have out there. We need to know about this courage. But he also doesn't want to compromise the capabilities and the procedures that are really their bread and butter.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Martha, this is not the only movie right now. I mean, I talked to Peter Berg this summer about how much access he got from the SEALs. We also have "Captain Phillips" out right now, goes deep inside that operation where they took out the pirates in Somalia.

MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And "Captain Phillips," I think is the most problematic one for revealing tactics, for revealing how the SEALs operate. There are things in there for me, covering the Pentagon, and I ask questions about tactics, it's oh, no, no, we can't tell you that. And then you have all of these Hollywood movies, you had "Zero Dark Thirty," you had "Captain Phillips," you have "Lone Survivor," which I don't reveals so many tactics.

But, the "Captain Phillips," boy they show you how they listen in on the boats, they do all kind of things in that movie that are really revealing.

So, I think a question really is why is Hollywood getting this access? Journalists aren't really getting that kind of access. They really have opened the door to Hollywood.

HARWARD: And I think the point is that they're always -- it's a tough job to get guys in and through these processes. While a lot of people want to be Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, it's really a tough recruiting process. We had -- the last ten years, we put a lot of focus into recruiting, these type of movies inspire young kids to pursue these very challenging and demanding careers.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And one of the questions that also raises -- and I will bring it to you,Colonel Ganyard, is how these special -- how the role of these special operations forces is going to evolve as we deal with new challenges, not only the fight against al Qaeda in the Middle East, but therise of China.

GANYARD: Right, the rise of China and how do we fix special operations, because they've clearly earned a place in the American pantheon of what we are capable of doing around the world.

In some ways, you know, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars on stealth airplanes and stealth submarines. But now there are satellites everywhere. We live in this ubiquitous era of satellites seeing everything. So we can't move airplanes, we can't move divisions of people overseas without being seen.

But in some ways, the special operators are our stealth ground force, because they can be inserted into places that we care about or difficult places to get into in a covert manner in ways that won't be seen or detected.

RADDATZ: And you've got -- George, you have got someone from the Navy and the Marine Corps here, if we had someone from the army here, they would be arguing that you need those conventional forces.

You look at Korea. So that is a real different side of what we're talking about here. Special operation forces are so incredible and so important now, but there's a lot of argument right now that you still need conventional forces.

GANYARD: And conventional forces are going to take the hits on the budget drawdowns. We're paying twice as much per soldier as we did 20 years ago and so the natural tendency is to draw down the Marine Corps, draw down the Army, take big cuts...

STEPHANOPOULOS: I guess one of the other dangers here -- let me bring this to you Admiral Harward, and a special for the Council on Foreign Relations wrote about this, the emphasis on the tactics of the special operators, you risk getting into a permanent game -- she called it a permanent game of whack-a-mole. You go out after the bad guys and you're not necessarily fitting into a larger strategy.

HARWARD: Well, I think the special operations community fits very well into that strategy, because it provides low-profile access which then allows you to do that full range be it go after individuals you need to capture or kill or other missions.

So, it's low profile, it's a small footprint, but it gives you access into these areas you want to influence for a variety of purpose.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Martha Raddatz, a world dominated by men, so far. Is there a future for women in the special operation forces?

RADDATZ: Well, I think that has really evolved. I mean, I've asked some Navy SEALs, including that one right there, whether women fit in. To me, it's -- and I think Steve Ganyard lived through this...

STEPHANOPOULOS: As a fighter pilot back in the 80s.

RADDATZ: As a fighter pilot when they were integrating women into combat aviation. And now you've got a community that is more welcoming. But there are physical tests that go along with this.

I sort of look at it, and the people I've talked to as a tool belt. Look, there are hammers in that tool belt, there are screwdrivers in that tool belt, there are all kinds of things in that tool belt. And if you put them all together, they work really well together. And I think women, and I think most of the special operations senior leadership who I have talked to feel it is time.


RADDATZ: Back at you.

HARWARD: I would tell you, women have been a part of the special operations community as long as I have, they're not SEALs, they're not Rangers, but they have been part of the community and an integral part that have enabling us to do what we need to do.

This last bastion of wearing a trident or becoming a designated Ranger still needs to be worked. I know the special operations community, Admiral McRaven is looking at this really closely.

GANYARD: I think it's going to be very important, though, that if we do this we have to have a single bar. There can't be standards for women in the most physically demanding special ops jobs if the bar is set to this to be a SEAL today, that's got to be the bar that everybody goes out and meets.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's the last word today. Thank you all very much.

You can see more from Mark Wahlberg and an excerpt from "Lone Survivor" at abcnews.com/thisweek.

We'll be right back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And now we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice.

This week, the Pentagon released the names of three service members killed in Afghanistan.

And that is all for today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "World News" with David Muir tonight. And I'll see you tomorrow on GMA.


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