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Obama: On ABC's ``This Week'' said guest worker numbers may have to be reduced on immigration bill.

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Obama: ``The third component is this guest worker program. And I think that that within the Democratic caucus probably generates the most controversy. The numbers that are allowed under the program are about 400,000. That number may be too high. I think it's important, and I'm preparing amendments to make sure that if we have a guest worker program, that it is targeted at those industries like agriculture where it really is difficult to find American workers.''

In some cases and in some particular cities there may be worker

shortages where this is justified. In others there may not be.

SENATORS BARACK OBAMA (D-IL) AND GEORGE ALLEN (R-VA) TACKLE IMMIGRATION REFORM

ON ABC NEWS “THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS��?

SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 2006

Sen. Allen on immigration reform: “…here's what I want us to do. I want us to secure our borders. Then it may be several years down the road or months down the road we can get a consensus on how you handle a good temporary worker system.��?

Sen. Obama on whether he supports the proposal to send illegal immigrants home before they can earn U.S. citizenship: “I cannot, because nobody who makes these proposals has explained to me a realistic mechanism whereby we're going to ship 11 to 12 million people out of the country. …the notion that somehow these 12 million people are going to get on a bus and go back across the border just isn't realistic…��?

As immigration reform continues to dominate the news in Washington, George Stephanopoulos sat down this morning with two key players in the debate, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and Senator George Allen (R-VA). In addition to the immigration debate, the Senators also discussed U.S. policy in Iraq.

A rush transcript of both interviews, which aired this morning, Sunday, April 2, 2006, on ABC News “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,��? is below. All excerpts must be attributed to ABC News “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.��?

When asked if he can go along with the proposal that will send home illegal immigrants before they can get on the pathway to earned citizenship, Sen. Obama said, “I cannot, George, because nobody who makes these proposals has explained to me a realistic mechanism whereby we're going to ship 11 to 12 million people out of the country. …the notion that somehow these 12 million people are going to get on a bus and go back across the border just isn't realistic…��?
When asked if it is a bottom line for him that anyone in the U.S. illegally must return home before they can be put on the path towards citizenship, Sen. Allen said, “…here's what I want us to do. I want us to secure our borders. Then it may be several years down the road or months down the road we can get a consensus on how you handle a good temporary worker system.��?
When asked to clarify his position – that he is calling for only enforcement and security now, Sen. Allen responded: “The one thing we have a consensus on in this country right now is that the United States government has been neglecting its responsibility to secure the border. In the event that this had been passed several years ago, I think we'd be much further along on what to do in devising a good temporary worker program. …I do agree mostly with the Cornyn-Kyl approach, which over a period of time if somebody wants to become a legal citizen they're going to have to return to their home country, and it may be over the next three, four, five years, but then they're going to have to enter legally...��?
When asked if his position is taking on the President, who supports comprehensive reform now, Sen. Allen said, “Well, unless the comprehensive reform and any of this so-called temporary worker, guest worker, unless that does not reward illegal behavior, I don't think we ought to be passing anything that rewards illegal behavior or amnesty. Is that different than the president's position? Apparently so…��?
Sen. Allen on the Cornyn-Kyl approach and getting immigrants to go home before they can get on the earned citizenship path: “This whole approach that gosh, you're going to round up 10 million people and send them back, that's not the approach. The approach is that if they want to stay in this country legally they're going to have to go back to their home country.��?
When asked if the idea of earned citizenship is the same as amnesty, Sen. Allen said, “It's rewarding illegal behavior. We're a nation that has welcomed immigrants throughout our history. They have settled, They have built this country. But we're also a nation of laws.��?
When asked if he would support requiring employers to pay at or above the minimum wage to ensure that the program does not depress wages, Sen. Obama said, “That would be a provision that I would support. I think a lot of Democrats would support it. I think the broader story here is that the American people have a pretty good common sense approach to immigration. I think they recognize that we're a nation of immigrants. I think they want to continue that legacy. What I think they're concerned about is that if there is no legal process whereby immigrants are coming here…��?
Sen. Obama on whether immigrant workers are harming the African American community: Well, look, I don't think there's any doubt that low-skill workers of every race are having problems right now because of globalization. There may be some modest impact on employment rates or wages at the very bottom of the skills levels as a consequence of undocumented workers in particular areas. Part of that is because an undocumented worker has no legal status, and so they're vulnerable to being exploited and wages are further depressed. … But here's one thing that I want to make sure, that we're not using this debate to further divide African-American workers who are struggling, and Latino or Polish or Ukrainian workers who are struggling. They're all struggling.��?
Sen. Obama on whether the Senate will pass a bill this week: “I think that it is going to be close. I think we have a majority for a bill along the lines that came out of the Judiciary Committee. What I'm not yet certain of is whether we have a 60-vote majority. It is possible that opponents of the legislation mount a filibuster.��?
ON IRAQ

When asked if Secretary Rice should be telling the Iraqis that if they cannot get a government together that the U.S. will have to reassess its position, Sen. Obama said, “Absolutely. …my assessment coming back was there is no military solution to this problem. There's only a political solution to this problem. The Shias, the Kurds, the Sunnis, they have to make a decision that they want to live together. We cannot enforce unity in Iraq through military means.��?

Katherine O’Hearn 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).

-ABC-

ABC'S "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS"

APRIL 2, 2006

SPEAKERS: GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST

U.S. SENATOR BARACK OBAMA (D-IL)

U.S. SENATOR GEORGE ALLEN (R-VA)

JIMMY ROLLINS, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

[*]

STEPHANOPOULOS: This week, President Bush lets his chief of

staff go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Andy is

respected by his colleagues and they, like me, will miss him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And lobbies hard for immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I believe it is important to bring people out of the

shadows of American society so they don't have to fear the life they

live.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: But can the president convince his party to go

along? Will immigration reform hurt or help American workers? And

how will it shape the midterm elections? We'll ask our headliners:

Senators Barack Obama and George Allen.

George Will, Robert Reich and Martha Raddatz debate the week's

politics on our roundtable.

Plus the man chasing DiMaggio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE WILL, ABC NEWS: You've been in 36 games, you're heading

for 56, DiMaggio's record. Does that intimidate you at all.

ROLLINS: No, not at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And as always, "The Sunday Funnies."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, HOST, TONIGHT SHOW: The good news is Congress is

cracking down on illegal immigration. The bad news: a head of

lettuce will now cost $300.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, everyone. The blessing of the

week: journalist Jill Carroll released in Baghdad after three months

in captivity. She'll be back in Boston today.

But the big story in Washington remained immigration. Showdown

votes in the Senate are expected this week, and our first guest is a

key player in the debate, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

Welcome back to "This Week," Senator.

OBAMA: Great to talk to you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We know that this issue divides Republicans; it

divides the country. It is also beginning to divide Democrats,

particularly the provision of the bill that calls for a guest worker,

allows 400,000 guest workers into the country.

The head of the AFL-CIO says that's going to harm all workers.

Your colleague, Senator Byron Dorgan calls it a corporate strategy to

keep wages low.

What do you say to your fellow Democrats?

OBAMA: Well, I think there are three components to this bill and

all three are critical. The first is border security, and this bill

-- I think we haven't talked enough about the enforcement provisions

that are in the bill that came out of the Judiciary Committee.

Improving border security, tightening employer sanctions, all those

provisions I think are absolutely critical.

The second provision is providing a pathway to citizenship.

We've got 11 million to 12 million undocumented workers in the

country. We want to regularize their lives, bring them out into the

open, make sure that employers are not exploiting them. And that's

something I think that is good for all Americans.

The third component is this guest worker program. And I think

that that within the Democratic caucus probably generates the most

controversy. The numbers that are allowed under the program are about

400,000. That number may be too high. I think it's important, and

I'm preparing amendments to make sure that if we have a guest worker

program, that it is targeted at those industries like agriculture

where it really is difficult to find American workers.

In some cases and in some particular cities there may be worker

shortages where this is justified. In others there may not be.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And will you require employers to pay at or

above the average wage to make sure that this is not a program that

depresses wages?

OBAMA: That would be a provision that I would support. I think

a lot of Democrats would support it.

I think the broader story here is that the American people have a

pretty good common sense approach to immigration. I think they

recognize that we're a nation of immigrants. I think they want to

continue that legacy.

What I think they're concerned about is that if there is no legal

process whereby immigrants are coming here, and you have these

horrendous heartbreaking stories of people coming across the border,

many of them putting themselves at risk where they're living in the

shadows and potentially being abused by employers, that's something

that I think concerns them.

They're willing to provide a pathway to citizenship, earned

citizenship that takes 11 years and requires at least 10 criteria.

They're willing to go along as long as they feel the borders are

actually secured and people aren't being exploited.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But a lot of people are going to get hurt. A

Harvard economist, George Borjas, has shown that low income workers,

especially high school dropouts, lose about 8 percent of their income

because of immigrants, and there is particular concern that this is

going to really hurt the African-American community.

I saw Professor Ron Walters of University of Maryland as quoted

in The New York Times this morning saying that this is causing great

angst among African-American leadership. "It's not just a black

problem," he says, "but we are the most acutely affected. The fact is

it's hurting us."

OBAMA: Well, look, I don't think there's any doubt that low-

skill workers of every race are having problems right now because of

globalization.

There may be some modest impact on employment rates or wages at

the very bottom of the skills levels as a consequence of undocumented

workers in particular areas. Part of that is because an undocumented

worker has no legal status, and so they're vulnerable to being

exploited and wages are further depressed.

OBAMA: The more that we can get those folks subject to existing

rules, minimum wage laws, making sure that worker safety laws are

overseen and so forth, then the costs of hiring undocumented workers

actually increases, and that will potentially have a salutary impact

on all workers.

But here's one thing that I want to make sure, that we're not

using this debate to further divide African-American workers who are

struggling, and Latino or Polish or Ukrainian workers who are

struggling. They're all struggling.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But isn't that what's going to happen?

OBAMA: Well, no, look, if anybody thinks that the problem of

unemployment among African-American youth in inner city Baltimore or

Los Angeles or Chicago is somehow caused by illegal immigration, then

I don't think they're looking at the larger trends. The fact of the

matter is that we have got a whole host of issues within the African-

American community that have to be dealt with, and employers do need

to systemically reach out to these groups -- something that's not

being done -- but the reason they're not is not because of

undocumented workers.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You've mentioned a couple of times this pathway

to what you called earned citizenship. As you know, the opponents of

that call it amnesty. And one of the proposals that's going to be

talked about this week is suggesting that anyone who is here will

first have to go home before they can be put on that pathway, whether

they're illegals here or part of the guest worker program. Can you go

along with that?

OBAMA: I cannot, George, because nobody who makes these

proposals has explained to me a realistic mechanism whereby we're

going to ship 11 to 12 million people out of the country. People who

are neighbors, people who have children in the schools all across the

country, people who are workers in vital industries -- the notion that

somehow these 12 million people are going to get on a bus and go back

across the border just isn't realistic, and I think that what we have

to acknowledge is that these are people who came to this country for

the same reason that most of our parents, grandparents, great

grandparents came to this country, in search for a better life. They

didn't follow the rules for legal immigration, but these are not

people who have done us harm, or are lawbreakers, or came here for

nefarious reasons. They came here in search of a better life.

We need to figure out how can we create a system of serious

border enforcement, how can we make sure that employers are not taking

advantage of the porous borders that we have. So I think that

employer sanctions that are serious and serious verification systems

that can't be ignored the way they are right now is absolutely

critical, and then we have to say to the 11 million to 12 million

people who are already here and are working alongside us and living

alongside us, let's make sure that you are not a permanent underclass,

that rather you're part of the broader American community.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senate's going to pass a bill this week?

OBAMA: I think that it is going to be close. I think we have a

majority for a bill along the lines that came out of the Judiciary

Committee. What I'm not yet certain of is whether we have a 60-vote

majority. It is possible that opponents of the legislation mount a

filibuster.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me turn to Iraq. Secretary of State Rice

landed in Baghdad this morning with British Foreign Secretary Jack

Straw, trying to push the different Iraqi factions into an agreement

on a government. Basically, it looks like the United States is trying

to push the current prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, out. Several

of your Democratic colleagues have said, if the Iraqis don't create a

government within the next four or five weeks, then the U.S. has to

reassess its whole position. Should Secretary Rice be telling the

Iraqis, if you can't get it together, you cannot count on U.S.

military support? We're going to have to reassess?

OBAMA: Absolutely. Look, I traveled there in January, and my

assessment coming back was there is no military solution to this

problem. There's only a political solution to this problem. The

Shias, the Kurds, the Sunnis, they have to make a decision that they

want to live together. We cannot enforce unity in Iraq through

military means. We can be a useful partner to them as they are

rebuilding their country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But are you willing to say...

OBAMA: But so far...

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... that we should pull out if they don't get

their act together?

OBAMA: I think that we should condition our continued presence

there on them -- their willingness to work together in a non-sectarian

fashion, and that means some very concrete things. It means, for

example, that the security apparatus can't be controlled by

sectarians. We can't have a Ministry of the Interior, that controls

the police, that is using that as an extension of the militias and

rounding up Sunnis and being involved in executions or kidnappings.

That is not something we can be party to, and we just can't be

successful.

OBAMA: It is not fair for us to put our brave young men and

women who have been doing an outstanding job in Iraq, put them in a

position where they are caught up in the middle of a civil war. We

can't prevent a civil war militarily if there's not a willingness on

the part of the leadership there to get their act together.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Obama, thank you very much.

OBAMA: Thank you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Republican George Allen and the roundtable are

next. And later, George Will, one on one with Jimmy Rollins.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILL: Some people think baseball's hardest record to break, Joe

DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. Going to break it?

ROLLINS: Oh, definitely. That's how I feel. That's the only

way I can go about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are back with Virginia Senator George

Allen. Welcome back to "This Week," sir.

ALLEN: Good to be with you this morning, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You heard Senator Barack Obama there describe a

path towards what he calls earned citizenship. Is that amnesty to

you?

ALLEN: It's rewarding illegal behavior. We're a nation that has

welcomed immigrants throughout our history. They have settled, they

have built this country. But we're also a nation of laws.

I think it's vitally important that we first and foremost

recognize there's a consensus in America that we need to secure our

borders, and that's one thing that I hope...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, he's for that. And he said they're going

to pay back taxes. They're going to pay fines. That's not a reward,

is it?

ALLEN: Well, it allows those who are in here illegally then to

get in line to become a citizen. If we have a reward of illegal

behavior, all one will get is more illegal behavior. There are many

people who have come into this country legally.

They have come in, some work in this country, because this is the

land of opportunity. Others have come into this country wanting to

become a citizen. My view of the situation is, is that we have

neglected, as a government, that first responsibility, and that's to

secure the border with more detention facilities rather than the

catch-and-release approach.

We need unmanned aerial vehicle, sensors, patrol agents, and all

of those -- virtual fences, actual fences...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you for the wall? Are you for the House

wall, 700 miles?

ALLEN: Well, I think you can have an actual fence in some

places. In other places, virtual fences.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But not the 700-mile wall.

ALLEN: Well, I'm not going to get into whether you need 612

miles versus 110 miles, but key areas need to have, I think, an actual

fence. But there's other areas where you can use sensors, unmanned

aerial vehicles, and we do need more border patrol personnel so that

they can go to those areas to round them up.

And of course, the detention centers right now, very few who are

actually caught actually go to the detention centers. They're

released on their own recognizance, and of course, they never show up

again.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, is it a bottom line for you that anyone here

illegally now is going to go home first before they can be put back on

a path towards citizenship?

ALLEN: I'm not sure we have a consensus on that yet.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But I'm asking about you, what about you?

ALLEN: All right, here's what I want us to do. I want us to

secure our borders. Then it may be several years down the road or

months down the road we can get a consensus on how you handle a good

temporary worker system. It may be built upon the H2B seasonal worker

approach...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me just stop you right there because it

sounds like you've just made a little bit of news.

You're saying now basically you want to do what the House of

Representatives has done: pass an enforcement and security bill now,

no guest worker provision, no pass toward citizenship for illegals

here, and then maybe revisit that many years down the road. But

you're saying now enforcement and security only?

ALLEN: The one thing we have a consensus on in this country

right now is that the United States government has been neglecting its

responsibility to secure the border.

In the event that this had been passed several years ago, I think

we'd be much further along on what to do in devising a good temporary

worker program.

Insofar as the issues and how different amendments will be

presented in the upcoming week, I do agree mostly with the Cornyn-Kyl

approach, which over a period of time if somebody wants to become a

legal citizen they're going to have to return to their home country,

and it may be over the next three, four, five years, but then they're

going to have to enter legally...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But didn't you just say...

ALLEN: ... Otherwise, George, think of what's going to happen.

Look at history: 20 years ago amnesty was given. Here we are 20 some

odd years later, there's estimates of anything from 5 million to 15

million in here illegally.

Is this country long-term going to have to go through this

exercise every year -- every 20 years with a quandary over, O.K., what

do we do with all those who've come in illegally because the message

that is sent is that illegal behavior ultimately will be rewarded.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Excuse me, I just want to get a yes or no here

because I think you're saying it, but you're not quite willing to say

yes or no. You're saying right now pass border security enforcement

only this year, push off the guest worker and other proposals for

subsequent years. That means you're taking on the president. He says

he wants comprehensive reform now.

ALLEN: Well, unless the comprehensive reform and any of this so-

called temporary worker, guest worker, unless that does not reward

illegal behavior, I don't think we ought to be passing anything that

rewards illegal behavior or amnesty.

Is that different than the president's position? Apparently so,

but I'm going to stick to the principle: first and foremost we need

to secure our borders. We are a country of immigrants, but we're also

a country of laws, and we do need to enforce the rule of law.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you about the Cornyn-Kyl approach

you just mentioned, sending either guest workers or illegals back home

before they can be put on a path...

ALLEN: You don't actually send them back. They're going to have

to go back...

STEPHANOPOULOS: They go back.

ALLEN: ... This whole approach that gosh, you're going to round

up 10 million people and send them back, that's not the approach. The

approach is that if they want to stay in this country legally they're

going to have to go back to their home country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, a lot of your colleagues think,

one, rounding them up is impractical but also they're not going to go

back on their own.

Here's what Senator McCain had to say about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

U.S. SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): You've got to tell me how you

do that. George Will said Sunday you have to line up 200,000 buses

from San Diego to Alaska. Someone's going to have to explain to us

how you do that. It's not possible. And of course what's the cost

involved?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what's the answer to Senator McCain?

ALLEN: The answer to Senator McCain is you enforce the rule of

law in this country. And it's not that we're going to be rounding up.

I said that before you showed his piece, and that's the argument of

those who are in favor of amnesty or rewarding illegal...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But people aren't going to go back on their own.

ALLEN: Well, in the event that you have a workable temporary

worker system, say the seasonal worker approach, it's H2B, and

employers can hire those from another country where they can't find

Americans to fill those job. If you have a good legal guest worker

system or temporary worker system, employers will choose that

approach.

Ultimately, of course, the main point is enforce the law. Right

now it is illegal to hire those who are illegally. And if there is a

good way, a workable, efficient, practical way of hiring legal workers

in this country, employers will do that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, the president...

ALLEN: And then those who are here illegally, by the way, will

see that they can't find work in this country and they're going to

have to leave.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I was just going to say the president and his

allies are worried that your party is going to be cast as the anti-

immigrant party. And I was talking to a top Republican strategist

close to the president this week who says that the enforcement-only

approach, for example, is perhaps good short-term politics for some of

you in the midterms, but in the long-run is going to alienate the

Republican Party from the fastest voter group in America -- fastest

growing voter group in America: Hispanics.

Are you worried about that?

ALLEN: I think it's very important that we're respectful in the

midst of our discussions of all these issues. You call it enforcement

only. I look at it and characterize it as securing our borders.

A country that cannot secure its own borders and control its own

borders cannot control its own destiny. Immigration policy in this

country ought to be considered and thoughtful and determine how many

more people can we allow in every year so -- to be absorbed and

assimilated into our society.

ALLEN: And I think this is something that has been, throughout

the history of this country, very important.

My mother, as you said in the outset, came to this country after

World War II from Tunisia. And your parents, undoubtedly, or

grandparents came...

STEPHANOPOULOS: My dad came from Greece.

ALLEN: ... from Greece. And came in legally. And it's also a

message that we send, whether it's to our children or to people all

around the world that if you do something illegal, you should not be

rewarded for it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If I listen to you and Senator Obama, I put the

two interviews together, I say it sure looks like the Senate's not

going to pass a bill this week. Do you agree?

ALLEN: That's hard to say. They may have enough votes for the

approach that Senator McCain and Senator Specter and Senator Kennedy

are in favor of. Obviously, I'm for securing our borders, and I will

support...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Would you filibuster that kind of an approach?

ALLEN: I don't like the concept of filibustering. I think this

needs to addressed. I am glad the Senate is finally taking up this

issue. How it results, I can't predict right now.

But I do want to make sure that we do have opportunities to put

in amendments that, for example, Senator Cornyn or Senator Kyl or

others that I've co-sponsored, for example, saying that if somebody is

a felon in this country that they should not be afforded all these

benefits that Senator McCain and Senator Kennedy are proposing in this

whether you want to call it amnesty or rewarding illegal behavior.

We'll have a vote on that, and there'll be other amendments that

I think can improve this measure, and I think everyone ought to have a

fair shot at it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're looking at a run for the White House. I

know you haven't made a final decision yet. You're also up for re-

election this year in November, and you've drawn an interesting

opponent. President Reagan's former Navy secretary, James Webb, a

former Republican. He has switched over to the Democratic Party,

mostly on the issue of Iraq, but he also had this to say to his local

affiliate recently.

He said: " 'The Republican Party of George W. Bush is not the

Republican Party of Ronald Reagan. I think it has moved toward the

extreme on social issues. I think it has made a lot of mileage out of

that in terms of attempting to keep a voter base. Bush's spending has

put the nation in debt and betrayed conservative economic principles,'

Webb said, 'and foreign policy under Bush is something Reagan would

have forsaken.' "

He's referring specifically there to Iraq. Are you worried that

he's going to turn your re-election into a referendum on Iraq?

ALLEN: Well, Mr. Webb or Mr. Miller -- there's actually two

Democrats running, and I don't know who will qualify for it, but

regardless, Mr. Webb obviously doesn't like President Bush very much.

And I'm one who very much loves Ronald Reagan. He's the one who

motivated me to get involved in organized politics back in 1976.

I think President Bush has provided strong leadership for this

country. When we were hit on 9/11, I think he rallied the country. I

also think that he's taking the war to the terrorists, rather than

sitting back and waiting to be hit. Our economy is actually doing

very well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're willing to run on Iraq.

ALLEN: I'm running on my issues and ideas. I think that we have

three key missions that we need to unify this country behind. Number

one is securing our freedom. Part of that is the perseverance and

resolve to win the war on terror.

Secondly, we need to make sure this is the land of opportunity

for all people. Make it the world capital of innovation, with more

competitive tax and regulatory policies. And third, we need to

preserve our values, and that means judges who do not legislate from

the bench.

Insofar as Iraq, Iraq's part of that battlefield in the war on

terror. You might also look back to Ronald Reagan and how he changed

the dynamics of the Cold War, one of appeasement and co-existence to

the advancement of freedom. And there are hundreds of millions of

people from the Baltics to the Black Sea that were once behind the

Iron Curtain that are now tasting that sweet nectar of liberty.

They're allies. They're friends. And we need to try to advance

freedom where practical and also bring other countries into the

coalition.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You got your Ronald Reagan speech in there.

Senator Allen, thanks very much.

ALLEN: Great to you with you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The roundtable is next with George Will, Robert

Reich and Martha Raddatz. Later, the Sunday Funnies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN": President

Bush told the Iraqi people to -- this is a quote -- "get governing."

Then the president introduced his new speechwriter, Larry the Cable

Guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(ROUNDTABLE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Our Voice this week, Jimmy Rollins. After a

white-hot 2005...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: ...36-game hitting streak.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... the Phillies shortstop is closing in on the

longest streak in baseball: Joe DiMaggio's 56 straight games with a

hit. Rollins gets his next chance at bat tomorrow, opening day at

Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia, where George Will found him

unfazed by the pressure.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL: You've hit in 36 games. You're heading for 56, DiMaggio's

record. Do you ever have a feeling, look around, say, what is a

little guy like me from Oakland, California doing chasing this?

ROLLINS: I never really thought of it that way. You know, I

just want to come to the ballpark, truthfully, every day and do

something to help the team win.

WILL: You've been telling your brother for years you can break

DiMaggio's record. Where'd you get that confidence?

ROLLINS: Ooh. That's something I think I was born with, or

should I say was ingrained in me as a young boy, just a little shorty.

ROLLINS: My mother, she never let us -- or my father for that

reason -- they never let us settle for second best. The word "almost"

wasn't accepted in my house. It was like if it was almost, well, why

didn't you do it? What kept you back?

WILL: You're trying to set a very important record at a

difficult moment in baseball history, when a lot of fans think a lot

of records are tainted.

Baseball, now, has the toughest steroid penalties of any

professional sport. Are you confident the steroid era is over?

ROLLINS: Oh, yes. I'm very confident. If you're still doing

steroids at this moment, you're running a real good risk that you'll

not be playing baseball again. And I think that's the best threat

that you can have is saying that, if you get caught cheating, you're

going to get kicked out the game.

And as you understand, this is our livelihood. This is how we

make money. This is how we feed our families. Without baseball, a

lot of us would be up in the air, not knowing what to do. And I'm

definitely one of them.

And just with that strict policy, three strikes and you're out,

that's (inaudible).

WILL: I guess one of the advantages of being 175 pounds is no

one thinks you're on steroids.

ROLLINS: Right. Right.

WILL: Or if you did, you weren't getting your money's worth.

ROLLINS: No, I definitely wasn't.

WILL: Do you ever look around baseball nowadays and say where

have the African-American ball players gone?

Let me give you some numbers. In 1975, 27 percent of all major

league players were African-American's. In 1979, the Pirates win the

World Series with a team that's 40 percent African-American. As

recently as the 95 All-Star game, all six starting outfielders were

African-American.

Fast forward to 2005, the Detroit All-Star game, 64 roster slots,

five African-Americans.

How do you explain this?

ROLLINS: I think personally a lot of it is baseball fields in

inner cities aren't worth playing on. You go out there, the grass is

three feet tall. No one's come to drag the field or even tried to

break up the cement that the dirt has become.

And plus, you need equipment. You know, in basketball, you get a

basketball and you can go find a hoop. Football, same thing, you go

get a football and just find a field or even a parking lot.

But baseball, you need bats, you need gloves, you need cleats,

you need a ball. And then you actually need a big place to play. And

those places especially with development are being taken away.

WILL: About 25 percent of all the people on big league rosters

this spring are from outside North America. Fifty percent of all

those in baseball, from rookie ball up, are from outside North

America. It's a good thing for the game, isn't it?

ROLLINS: It's definitely good thing to see baseball expanding.

But nevertheless, you still want to keep it an American game. And in

my eyes, you just can't go out there and say, well, we have all of

these players that have been great.

For example, in Japan or in Korea, or in the Dominican league or

the Venezuelan league and forget about what's going on at home because

kids will get discouraged. It's like, well, they're not drafting us.

They're going out trying to find talent everywhere else.

WILL: Bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, tie game, three and two

count on Jimmy Rollins. Pitcher throws a ball right off the plate,

it's your last at bat. You walk in the winning run and you don't

break the record, which would you do?

ROLLINS: I'd walk in the winning run, but I'd probably try to

foul it off if it was that close. If it was that close, I'd really

try to foul it off, but if it's a pitch that I know I can't get to,

hopefully the empire sees it the same way I do.

WILL: Well, Jimmy Rollins, the baseball world will be watching

on opening day and for as long after that as you keep going.

ROLLINS: Yes.

ROLLINS: Get to 57.

ROLLINS: Thank you very much. I'm definitely going to try.

WILL: Nice to see you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANOPOULOS: George Will rooting for Jimmy Rollins. For more

baseball talk click on our Voices Plus feature at

thisweek.abcnews.com.

And now, "The Sunday Funnies."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LENO: And according to Time magazine, global warming is 33

percent worse than we thought. You know what that means? Al Gore is

1/3 more annoying than we thought.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: So burning cars -- violent clashes with police. That's

how the French protest a new law. Well here in the States new

legislation is also sparking protests. Congress is considering a

tough new anti-immigration bill. The crowd sentiment was perhaps best

expressed by this man.

(UNKNOWN): We've been part of this country for years, and we

should remain part of the country. We are not foreigners.

STEWART: Sir, no offense but your attempts to assimilate...

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: ... a little ham-handed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLBERT: I knew this was a problem, but I had no idea the scope

of it until I watched the Sunday shows. Look at what Arlen Specter

said at 10:03 on Sunday morning.

U.S. SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA): We have approximately 11

million undocumented aliens here.

COLBERT: Now look at what Ted Kennedy said at 10:33.

U.S. SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY (D-MA): There are 12 million

individuals that are here in the United States.

COLBERT: One million illegals snuck into this country in a half

an hour.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, at least he's watching.

That's it for today, but tune in next Sunday, when my guest will

be new House Majority Leader John Boehner.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. We'll see you

next week.

END


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 2, 2006 10:50 AM.

Sweet Column: GOP rift on immigration could cost them the House in November. was the previous entry in this blog.

Durbin: On CBS' ``Face the Nation'' said nation needs a way to bring illegal immigrants ``out of the shadows.'' is the next entry in this blog.

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