Rahm Emanuel: Will Rahm win the House? Dem House political chief on Stephanopoulos ABC show.

SHARE Rahm Emanuel: Will Rahm win the House? Dem House political chief on Stephanopoulos ABC show.
SHARE Rahm Emanuel: Will Rahm win the House? Dem House political chief on Stephanopoulos ABC show.

“Winning is everything,” Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) told ABC “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos this morning.

Emanuel has led the Dem “culture of corruption” message, aimed at Republicans, as the chairman of the House political operation, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

But last week the Dems lost the House race to replace a man who figured in the culture of corruption theme, now imprisoned former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.), who took bribes from lobbyists.

Here’s how Emanuel explained the special California election, won by a former House member Brian Bilbray, who will be returning to Washington.

“Now, let’s take a look at exactly what happened in an overwhelming Republican district. The Republican Party spent $5 million, the most they’ve ever spent, in an overwhelming Republican district and eked out a victory with less than 50 percent of the vote.And the only way Congressman Bilbray did that was by attacking the president of the United States, of his own party, and saying he disagreed with him.”

thisrelease and transcript from ABC News……….


In an exclusive interview this morning, Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, joined George Stephanopoulos to discuss the 2006 midterms and whether the war in Iraq will have an impact come November.

The interview aired this morning, Sunday, June 11, 2006, on ABC News This Week with George Stephanopoulos.? A rush transcript of the program, which also featured an exclusive interview with L. Paul Bremer, Former U.S. Administrator in Iraq, is below. All excerpts must be attributed to ABC News This Week with George Stephanopoulos.?

When asked if the number of U.S. troop levels in Iraq will hurt House Republicans in November, Rep. Reynolds said: I look at the experts in the Pentagon to run the war But the races are all about local races, on what the number one issue is in that district…I didn’t hear the war as the number one issue in California 50, I heard immigration; close the borders.?

Rep. Emanuel on the same topic: you do leave the fighting to our generals. But Congress has a responsibility to ask questions and oversight. And at every chance — Abu Ghraib; too few troops; soldiers having to literally put together scrap metal for their humvees; parents doing bake sales for Kevlar vestsIraq sovereignty in 2006, and in 2007, how do we make sure America begins its redeployment from Iraq. That’s the strategy we’ve got to have a debate about.?

Rep. Reynolds on the upcoming Midterms: We’re going to win the House as we just win every race local, district by district, from the ground up.

Katherine OHearn is the executive producer of This Week? and George Stephanopoulos is the anchor. The program airs Sundays on the ABC Television Network (check local listings).


JUNE 11, 2006











STEPHANOPOULOS: This week — the most wanted man in Iraq,




is a severe blow to al Qaida.


STEPHANOPOULOS: But will it bring down the violence or bring

more of our troops home? As the president convenes his war cabinet at

Camp David, how will U.S. strategy change? We’ll ask America’s first

ambassador to a free Iraq, Paul Bremer, in a Sunday exclusive.

Then, a special election win for the GOP.


UNKNOWN: It’s been a very successful week for Republicans.




trying to use election-year politics to distract people from their

record of failure.


STEPHANOPOULOS: What does it mean for control of Congress? The

campaign chairs square off. Republican Tom Reynolds versus Democrat

Rahm Emanuel. George Will, Donna Brazile and Fareed Zakaria debate

the week’s politics on our roundtable. Plus, conservative activist

Grover Norquist one on one with our own conservative.


WILL: In one sentence say why they should think there is a great

difference today between the conservative Republican party and the

liberal Democratic party.


WILL: That’s it?


STEPHANOPOULOS: And as always, the Sunday Funnies.


JAY LENO, HOST, “THE TONIGHT SHOW”: Here’s something I learned

today. You know what the last thing that went through Zarqawi’s mind

was? A 500-pound bomb.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, everyone. The killing of Abu

Musab al Zarqawi and the appointment of a full Iraqi cabinet last

Thursday combined for the best news out of Iraq in months. But the

question on everyone’s mind this week, will that good news lead to

real change in Iraq and a real chance that American troops can come

home soon? And that’s our big question for our headliner, the man who

ran the U.S. effort in Iraq for more than a year, Ambassador Paul

Bremer. Welcome back to “This Week.”

BREMER: Thanks. Nice to be with you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So President Bush calls it a severe blow to al

Qaida, clearly a big morale boost for the Iraqi government. But how

big an operational blow is the killing of al Zarqawi?

BREMER: You know, if you look at terrorism and terrorist groups

over the last 20, 25 years I’ve been working on them, three things

happen when the top guy is taken out. First, there is a very

important symbolic effect. Terrorists are cult-type organizations.

This matters not just in Iraq but also in the world, because,

effectively, he’s the number one, was the number one operative in al

Qaida. Bin Laden and his guys are hiding in a cave somewhere.

Secondly, this will increase internal tensions inside al Qaida,

because it seems that one of his colleagues informed on him. And

terrorist groups are secretive to the point of paranoia, and this sets

off very big tensions inside the group, and we’ve seen — and that’s

the third effect. When that happens, the operational effectiveness of

the group, at least in the short run, tends to be deteriorated. Those

are good things.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet al Qaida in Iraq is already this morning

promising major new attacks, as you would expect them to do, and we

have seen these turning points or potential turning points in Iraq

before. It was on your watch in December 2003 that Saddam Hussein was

captured. Let’s take a look.


BREMER: Ladies and gentlemen, we got him. Iraq’s future, your

future has never been more full of hope.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You wrote in your book, “My Year in Iraq,” that

at the time you thought that would be a tipping point. But since

then, more than 2,000 Americans have been killed, ten times as many

Iraqis. What went wrong, and what can the U.S. military and the Iraqi

government now learn from those mistakes?

BREMER: Well, I think what has to — what has happened here is

the insurgency has obviously proven more resilient than we thought it

would be. This was a good week in Iraq, not just Zarqawi’s death but

the filling out of the cabinet, and I think even more importantly the

statements by Prime Minister al Maliki and his new team.

Al Maliki said very clearly, first, we’ve got to defeat the

insurgency. Secondly, we’ve got to abolish the militia, which are

basically the Shia militia. And thirdly, he said we have to start a

process of reconciliation so we can rebuild this country.

And I was very encouraged by the statements by the ministers of

defense and interior, both of whom I know. Both of whom said, one a

Sunni and one a Shia, we are going to work for all Iraqis. And I

think what needs to happen now, what we need to do, what I hope will

happen in these meetings in the next 48 hours in Camp David is, we

need to design an effective military strategy to defeat the


STEPHANOPOULOS: And, but that also has a political component.

You wrote in your book about how after Saddam was captured, you tried

to reach out to the insurgents. Ambassador Khalilzad is saying this

week that he hopes to have a new effort there as well. What

specifically can be done?

BREMER: Well, I don’t know what kind of contacts Ambassador

Khalilzad has had now with the insurgency, but clearly we had

contacts. They actually contacted us after Saddam’s capture to

express interest in trying to find a way forward. The U.N. had

contacts at that time. I don’t know if they’re involved now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But how come there was no follow-through?

BREMER: Well, the insurgents were not able to deliver anything.

This is always a problem in an insurgency. You don’t know who you’re

talking to. There was, at that time, certainly no central direction

of the insurgency, so you have a question of, who can I talk to who

can actually deliver reconciliation?

BREMER: In the end, you’ve got people here, George, a small hard

core, who are never going to be reconciled. They’re going to have to

be dealt with. They’re going to have to be defeated militarily, as

Prime Minister al-Maliki made very clear on Thursday.

And we need to figure out the best way to help them do that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet at one level, Zarqawi already seems to have

succeeded because one of his main goals was to spark sectarian

violence, spark a civil war.

And that seems to have a dynamic all its own right now.

BREMER: Yes, but if you look at the question of these militia —

that’s true; Zarqawi made it very clear two years ago to his


He said several things. He said we need to kill as many Shia as

possible to start a sectarian war. We need to go after the police and

the army, as they did again yesterday with two attacks on Iraqi


That has not actually affected recruitment. This last week

alone, over 4,000 Iraqis finished training and became new Iraqi

policemen. They continue to come and volunteer.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet the real powers in the military, in the

police, are those militias.

BREMER: No, I think that’s not right. The army, the Iraqi army

is not plagued by the same degree of infiltration of militias as the

police. It’s largely a problem of the police.

And I think al-Maliki is right. They need to be abolished. You

need to take away the reason. The reason the Shia are relying on

those militia is because the coalition and the Iraqi forces, so far,

have not been able to provide them with security.

The reason the economy hasn’t been rebuilt as well as it should

have been is because these insurgents are able to continue to attack

power lines and pipelines.

So at the heart, the fundamental problem is defeating the

insurgency. And we need a military campaign strategy to do that. And

I hope that’s what comes out of these next few days.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the insurgents are basically aligning

themselves with other Sunnis against the Shiite militias. The war has

a very different character now.

BREMER: The war, yes, it does. But if you can deal with the

insurgency as the heart of the problem, you can take away the excuse

of the Shia taking affairs into their own hands.

You can give the new government an opportunity to build, not just

reconciliation but rebuild the country. So we have to keep focused on

the point that we must have a strategy for victory against the

insurgents, as the president has said several times since Thursday.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And as the president is meeting with his war

Cabinet on Monday and Tuesday at Camp David to talk about the strategy

going forward.

Are you going to attend the meetings?

BREMER: No, I’m not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If you were there, what advice would you give

the president and his war Cabinet at this moment?

BREMER: Well, you know, I don’t — I’m very reluctant, as

someone who is no longer in government, to advise the president in

public. But I think the key challenge that the coalition and the

Iraqis have now is to come up with a campaign plan, a military

campaign plan.

And I don’t know whether that requires more troops or different

kinds of troops. This, I don’t know.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that’s what I wanted to ask you about

because you’ve been firm that you think there should be no deadlines

at all for withdrawal of troops.

BREMER: Absolutely.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But is this a moment that perhaps more troops

actually could make a difference if the key is defeating the

insurgency, as you say?

BREMER: Quite possibly. The prime minister, in his statement on

Thursday, talked about securing Baghdad.

And it seems to me, just as a political matter, it’s important to

be able to secure the capital. Six million Iraqis live there out of,

say, 27 million, so a quarter of the population lives there.

It’s a multisectarian city. It’s got Sunnis and Shia. And there

is some symbolic use in being able to say, we can control a capital.

So perhaps you start with the capital. Maybe not. All I know is

it is very important to have a strategy that says, here is how we

intend, in a period of time, to defeat the insurgency.

There should be no deadlines on the time we bring troops home. I

think that’s a mistake. That only encourages the terrorists to

continue their fighting.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But to be clear, the White House has said that

draw-downs are not on the table at Camp David.

You think they should at least consider putting more troops in,

temporarily, in Baghdad.

BREMER: I don’t want to be driven into a question of whether

there should be more troops there. I think it’s the wrong question,

George. I think the question is what’s the strategy to defeat the

insurgency and then the consequence of that…

STEPHANOPOULOS: The number of troops is key to that strategy,

isn’t it?

BREMER: It may be more. It may not be more. It may be

different kinds of troops; it may be redeploying them to different


If you start to focus on Baghdad, maybe you bring the same troops

out from other parts of the country and put them in Baghdad.

That, it seems to me, is a question for the president’s military

advisers. The president — the question for the president is, what

does it take to win the war?

STEPHANOPOULOS: And bottom line, for you, is the strategy should

be secure Baghdad first.

BREMER: No, I don’t say that necessarily. I say that’s what the

prime minister has proposed on Thursday. It sounds like a logical

place to start.

You could also start in the provinces where you have the most

unrest, in Al Anbar in the West, for example, or Diyala, where Zarqawi

was killed, or Salaheddin somewhere to the north.

There are different ways you could approach it. All I’m saying

is there should be a strategy fro victory here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And let’s see what the president decides on

Monday and Tuesday.

BREMER: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Ambassador, thanks very much.

BREMER: Nice to be with you again.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The debate over control of Congress is next with

Tom Reynolds and Rahm Emanuel.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And later, two conservative heavyweights square



WILL: Isn’t it the case that 12 years after the great Republican

takeover, they have discovered the almost erotic joy of spending other

people’s money?

NORQUIST: This is a deep, deep problem.




FORMER U.S. REP. TOM DELAY, (R-TX) It is not the principled

partisan, however obnoxious he may seem to his opponents, who degrades

our public debate, but the preening, self-styled statesman who

elevates compromise to a first principle.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That was a defiant Tom DeLay in his farewell

address to Congress on Thursday. And it came on top of Tuesday’s GOP

win in the special election to replace convicted Congressman Duke

Cunningham, which may be the best test yet of whether the Republicans

can keep control of Congress come November. Here to debate that

question, the campaign committee chairmen, Republican Tom Reynolds,

and from Chicago, Democrat Rahm Emanuel.

And Congressman Reynolds, let me begin with you. Mr. DeLay also

told USA Today this week the Republicans will lose control of the

House unless they get tough. And he said Republican house members are

plagued by panic, depression and “woe is me”-ism. Is he right?

REYNOLDS: Well, that’s Tom DeLay expressing himself. He’s now a

former Congressman. I listen to him as I do other great members of

Congress that have come and gone. But we’re focused on local

elections to make sure that we win every seat, seat by seat, build

them from the ground up.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you won an election this week. And

Congressman Emanuel, The Hill newspaper reported that your former

leader, Dick Gephardt, told a private meeting of investment bankers

that he didn’t think Democrats could win back the House. And it is

true you lost that race on Tuesday. You had a lobbyist running in a

district where a Congressman was convicted of taking bribes from a

lobbyist. If you can’t win there, where can you win?

EMANUEL: Well, George, first of all, you know, there’s no silver

medal for second place. Winning is everything. And Tom won, and I

believe that what they really did was avoid a disaster.

Now, let’s take a look at exactly what happened in an

overwhelming Republican district. The Republican Party spent $5

million, the most they’ve ever spent, in an overwhelming Republican

district and eked out a victory with less than 50 percent of the vote.

And the only way Congressman Bilbray did that was by attacking the

president of the United States, of his own party, and saying he

disagreed with him.

EMANUEL: And that will not be a luxury that any Republican

running for Congress who have co-authorized the president’s agenda to

the tune of — 92 percent of the time, they have rubber-stamped his

agenda on energy, Social Security, on Medicare, on Iraq and on the $3

trillion of additional deficit.


That debt…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Reynolds, he’s lashing, President

Bush, to the House Republicans. It is true that Mr. Bilbray attacked

the president’s immigration plan. Does that mean it’s dead?

REYNOLDS: Well, politics is local. It was a House campaign, as

a contrast between the number one issue in that district, which was



REYNOLDS: Which was immigration. And it was between two local

personalities. And quite frankly, Miss Busby was a B candidate. And

Bilbray won by having his message driven across.

I also saw that it appeared to me that Busby got no more than

what Kerry got in that district. And as ends up, we got a win.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Emanuel, Congressman Reynolds says

all politics is local. But Democrats are hoping to make an issue out

of Iraq and believe that Iraq is a real anchor on the president.

The Republicans are going to come forward with a resolution in

the House this week. And I want to show it to our viewers. I

obtained a copy of it.

It calls the mission in Iraq — it supported the mission in Iraq

and it and calls it essential to U.S. security and goes on to say that

“The struggle to create a sovereign, free and united Iraq will require

continued resolve by the United States as it moves forward toward

achievement of that goal.”

The majority leader, John Boehner says he hopes to embarrass

Democrats by forcing them to voting against this resolution.

Will Democrats vote against this or vote to support the mission?

EMANUEL: Well, George, you know, this is interesting. You say

what Congressman Boehner says. You know, what the Republicans should

do — and I’m going to give them a little advice — one good casualty

in this war on terror would be partisanship and “try to embarrass”


What we should be doing is not dividing Americans but bringing

them together in our mission. That’s what our troops want.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So will you vote for the resolution?

EMANUEL: Well, I’m going to see what the resolution — but I’ll

tell you what the debate the Democrats are going to have, is we have

now spent 3 1/2 years, $480 billion, 2,500 American lives, 18,000

wounded. And this Republican Congress sat and watched, refused to ask

questions in the past.

When we were told this was a short war, it became a long war.

When they said it was going to be a quick war in the sense of

traditional, it became an insurgency.

There was no preparation, vis-a-vis Kevlar vests, humvees, too

few troops. We want the questions our constituents are asking. And

we want the answers.

And this Congress, the Republican Congress, refused to have its

duties of oversight and accountability and they, rather than root out

corruption and incompetence, protected it.

And we’re going to demand that they stop cutting and running from

their duties of accountability and oversight. And that’s what we’re

going to talk about.

And I’ll look at that resolution, but we will have a good debate

about what happened to our responsibilities of accountability and

oversight when that — when the Republican Congress, rather than try

to protect America and say, we want to know, like we have in every

war, where Congress asks questions, this Congress did not ask those

questions. And America is paying the price of that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What’s the answer, Congressman Reynolds?

REYNOLDS: I look forward to this debate. We support our troops.

I think it’s a great debate. I look forward to having members of

Congress in both parties. But quite frankly, I haven’t seen a clear

opinion from the House Democrats on this issue or most issues.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if there’s still 130,000…


STEPHANOPOULOS: I’ll bring you in in one second.

If there’s still 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq come November, won’t

that hurt House Republicans?

REYNOLDS: George, I look at the experts in the Pentagon to run

the war and the president to outline, as commander in chief, where we

are to the American people on the war.

I look at Congress’ responsibility to make sure that our men and

women are the best trained and have the best equipment to fight this


But the races are all about local races, on what the number one

issue is in that district. In Buffalo, New York, it’s jobs and taxes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Iraq’s not going to hurt House Republicans,

you’re convinced?

REYNOLDS: I say that they are local races that are contrasts

between local personalities and local districts. I didn’t hear the

war as the number one issue in California 50, I heard immigration;

close the borders.


EMANUEL: Well, two things. One is the war is a big issue out

there, as is the privatization of Social Security, as is the issue of

skyrocketing energy prices and our subsidies to big oil companies

rather than figuring out alternatives.

And on the issue of immigration, there is also a big issue. For

six years, the Republicans have literally sat and watched while not

doing anything, allowing, like, in 2003, there were only four

workplace inspections and convictions in all of America.

And this problem didn’t just come in one year. It’s been

festering and the Republican Congress hasn’t done anything.


EMANUEL: Let me just say one thing. What Tom just said on the

war, yes, you do leave the fighting to our generals. But Congress has

a responsibility to ask questions and oversight.

And at every chance — Abu Ghraib; too few troops; soldiers

having to literally put together scrap metal for their humvees;

parents doing bake sales for Kevlar vests.

Congress didn’t ask the questions. And what we have to do going

forward and what the debate will be is: what is the strategy for


STEPHANOPOULOS: But there is a debate also, excuse me…

EMANUEL: Iraq sovereignty in 2006, and in 2007, how do we make

sure America begins its redeployment from Iraq. That’s the strategy

we’ve got to have a debate about.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But there is a debate also in the Democratic

caucus about Iraq. And this week, you saw Congressman John Murtha,

the leading advocate in the House for withdrawing American troops

completely this year, announce that he was going to challenge

Congressman Steny Hoyer, the Democratic whip, for the position of

majority leader if Democrats take control. Are you going to support


EMANUEL: George, my colleagues ask me to do one thing, which is

make sure that in 2006 there is a majority, and that there will be a

majority leader to lead a majority, and I’m going to focus on my job.

That is my responsibility.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So do you think it was a bad idea for

Congressman Murtha — first of all, tell me if you’re going to support

him. But secondly, was it a bad idea for him to challenge Congressman

Hoyer at this time?

EMANUEL: George, you know the House well enough, and you know

the institution. How I’m going to vote and what I’m going to do is,

I’m going to tell the individual member. I’m not going to do it here

on TV. Second is, it would be — I would be remiss in my

responsibilities, as Tom would be in his responsibilities. We’re

chairs of the committees for election.

We’re 100 percent, 24/7 always focused on that, and that’s what

I’m going to focus on. I’m not going to get into any discussion of

what happens after November. Every day I’m going to wake up as I do

— sometimes I don’t even go to sleep, just focus on what we’ve got to

do to win the election and turn this country away from its wageless

recovery and endless occupation in Iraq, and make sure that we don’t

have a Congress that merely rubber-stamps the policy of the president.

But actually has a new direction out there.

What’s that?

STEPHANOPOULOS: It sounds like you think this is a distraction

from Congressman Murtha?

EMANUEL: No, what I think and what I believe is I have a

responsibility that 202 Democrats asked me to take on, and I’m going

to focus on it. I’m not talking about with distraction or nothing.

I’m going to build that majority, and then we can have a lot of

contests out there. I’m going to focus on what I’m supposed to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You have a similar job, Congressman Reynolds,

and this week, there was a big vote in the Senate on the

constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. It lost. It didn’t

pass in the Senate. Didn’t even come up for a vote. But the day

after, your leader, Majority Leader John Boehner, came out and said




the United States Congress. We have members who are very passionate

about the issue of gay marriage, that marriage ought to be the union

of a man and a woman, and there’s going to be a debate and vote here

in the House, period. Regardless of the consequences.


STEPHANOPOULOS: What are the consequences? Do you think that

vote is going to help your members?

REYNOLDS: I think it’s just another vote in Congress. Some

people will support it. Some will not. (INAUDIBLE) American people.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What will you do?

REYNOLDS: I’ll support it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re going to support the constitutional

amendment. All the senators from the Northeast voted against it.

They seem to think it’s going to hurt them up there. You don’t?

REYNOLDS: I look at each race as an individual matter between

the candidates of the district, and all politics being local, I’m

already on record.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Emanuel?

EMANUEL: Well, first of all, I will oppose it, and I again say

to the Republican Party we should be finding opportunities to deal

with the challenges — immediate challenges facing the American people

that also bring us together. There is a lot of divisions out there.

There’s a lot of important issues.

But what we should do is figure out how to raise people’s

incomes, how to ensure that we have lower prescription drug prices,

how to protect Americans by voting for our 9-11 Commission, how to

ensure that we don’t subsidize big oil companies with $15 billion of

hard-earned taxpayer money and find alternative energy sources, how to

restore the cuts to college education, how to put our budget back in

balance with pay-go rules.

Those are the priorities the American people want to have. They

want to bring us together to do that. I always wish the Republican

Party would stop trying to figure out how to unify their party and

figure out how to unify this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s the Democratic plan and his final answer.

What’s your final word?

REYNOLDS: Well, he wants more taxes and bigger government.

We’re going to win the House as we just win every race local, district

by district, from the ground up.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Reynolds, Congressman Emanuel, thank

you both very much.

EMANUEL: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The roundtable is next with George Will, Donna

Brazile and Fareed Zakaria. And later, the Sunday Funnies.



to the military — this is true — they got al Zarqawi while he was

hiding in his safe house. Yeah, as a result, it’s been renamed the

not-so-safe house.





STEPHANOPOULOS: Our voice this week, Grover Norquist.


STEPHANOPOULOS (voice over): For almost 20 years, he’s been the

number one networker in the conservative movement. And when President

Bush took office, he won unparalleled access to the White House.

But has his movement lost its way? Norquist goes one-on-one with

George Will.

WILL: You said your aim was to cut in half the size of

government relative to the size of the economy. That’s not going so


NORQUIST: We were doing very well from 1994 up until 2000.

WILL: Until Republicans took the White House back?

NORQUIST: Yes, actually. And I think there are a couple of

challenges. One when you have Republican House, Senate and president,

they think that the other guys are keeping an eye on things. At least

when Clinton was in the White House, the Republicans would not let

Clinton have his spending. Clinton would not let the Republicans have

their favorite spending. And you had a Mexican standoff, where people

kept an eye on each other. They’re not policing spending as they need

to in D.C.

WILL: Under this administration, the last six years, the number

of registered lobbyists in Washington has doubled. Why have lobbyists

sprouted like dandelions under a conservative regime in Washington?

NORQUIST: Because spending has gone up too much. If you put a

cake, birthday cake under the sink, you will get cockroaches, OK, and

there’s no point in saying, well, we’ll build walls against the

cockroaches or we’ll make the cockroaches fill out paperwork and tell

us what they’re doing, OK? Remove the cake from under the sink.

WILL: You’re not calling lobbyists cockroaches?

NORQUIST: No, I’m drawing an analogy here.


WILL: You’ve called the conservative movement the “leave us

alone” coalition. People want the government to go away. But there’s

this enormous social conservative group that wants to change the laws

on marriage and on abortion and prayer in schools and display of

religious symbols. That doesn’t sound like leaving people alone. Is

this a fundamental incompatibility in the movement?

NORQUIST: No, but people do look at the traditional values wing

of the party or part of the party and say they must be wanting to

impose their values on the rest of society. They must be like the

environmentalists that want to make everybody separate the green glass

from the brown glass on Thursdays. Or make your toilets too small to

flush or make your cars too small to have people in.

Actually, if you look at the voting patterns of the traditional

values conservatives, Republicans, what they want, it’s a parents’

rights movement. They want to practice their faith. They want to

raise their kids. If you ask them do they think other people should

do x, y or z, they do. Do they vote on that issue when they vote for

candidates? Actually, they don’t.

WILL: Looking ahead two more years to 2008, probably fair to say

the front-runner for the Republican nomination is John McCain, who you

have accused of Caesarism in his approach to leadership, and called

him completely unstable.

NORQUIST: What McCain has done is flip-flopped on the gun issue,

on the tax issue. Used to be a Reagan Republican on taxes. He’s

voted against every one of President Bush’s tax cuts. He voted for

the first one before he voted against it, but he’s voted against all

of them.

He’s flip-flopped back and forth. Not because of where the

American people are, but because of where the cameras are. And the

challenge there as an elected official who is — the photo tropism of

going to the cameras is very damaging from a conservative perspective

because that’s unlikely to lead to conservative governance.


STEPHANOPOULOS: For more of this debate, check out voices plus.

Just go to abcnews.com and click on This Week. And now, the Sunday



STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s our show for today. But before we go, a

note of appreciation for Robert Byrd.


SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D) WEST VIRGINIA: Oh, to be 70 again.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Tomorrow he becomes the longest-serving senator

in U.S. history, 17,327 days. That’s more than 47 years and more than

half his life. Congratulations, Senator Byrd.

And thanks to all of you for sharing part of your Sunday with us.

ABC will be airing World Cup soccer in our time slot next week, but

we’ll be back on June 25. See you then.


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