"Face the Nation" transcript: October 2, 2011

Face the Nation - McCain Barbour O'Malley
DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and RNC chair Reince Priebus on CBS' "Face the Nation," Sept. 25, 2011.
CBS/Getty Iamges

Below is a rush transcript of "Face the Nation" on October 2, 2011, hosted by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer. The guests are Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Governor Haley Barbour, R-Tenn., and Governor Martin O'Malley, D-Md.

You can watch the full show by clicking on the video player above.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, is he or isn't he, will he or won't he? We're talking about Chris Christie. And it's a question they're asking everywhere. Is he going to run for President?

MITT ROMNEY (Former Massachusetts Governor, Republican Presidential candidate): It would be fun if he got in.

HERMAN CAIN: Come on down as they say.

BOB SCHIEFFER: He's in the headlines of all the papers and news magazines. The New Jersey governor even made David Letterman's top ten.

DAVID LETTERMAN: Presidential retreat moved from Camp David to Hershey Park. Number four, taxpayers would have to pay for the President's second seat on Air Force One.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But who is he and where does he stand on the issues? We'll ask Republican Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Maryland Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley. But we'll start with Republican Senator John McCain.

All that and some final thoughts on a 60 MINUTES legend, all ahead on FACE THE NATION.

ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, FACE THE NATION with Bob Schieffer.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. We welcome to the broadcast this morning Senator John McCain who is just back from Libya. We'll get to questions about that and Republican politics in a minute. Senator, welcome to the broadcast.

SEANTOR JOHN MCCAIN (R-Arizona): Thank you.

BOB SCHIEFFER: The first thing I want to ask you about this morning, at the recent Republican debate, the audience booed when a gay soldier asked a question and the candidates on stage said nothing. Last night, President jumped all over that at a gay rights dinner. I know you opposed ending "don't ask don't tell," but I want to play a bit of what the President said and get your reaction here.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We don't believe in that. We don't believe in standing silent when that happens. We don't believe in them being silent since. You want to be Commander-in-Chief, you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it's not politically convenient.

BOB SCHIEFFER: So, what about that Senator McCain? Did the President have a point?

SEANTOR JOHN MCCAIN: I think he has a point but the fact is the overwhelming majority of Americans support the men and women who serve in the military no matter what their sexual orientation is. I opposed the repeal without the assessment of effect on enlistment morale, battle effectiveness, et cetera. But the fact is that we should honor every man and woman who is serving in the military and should in no way treat them with anything but the highest regard. Different from the war that you and I had some--


SEANTOR JOHN MCCAIN: --involvement in.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think that the Republican candidates should have spoken up at that debate about that?

SEANTOR JOHN MCCAIN: Yeah. I do. But a lot of times, you know, when you're in a debate you're thinking about what you're going to say and what the question is going to be. It's hard to react sometimes. So-- but I'm sure that I would bet that every Republican on that stage did not agree with that kind of behavior.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You're just back from Libya where you traveled this week. Yesterday, Army General Carter Ham who heads the U.S. forces in Africa told the A.P. that he thought the military mission in Libya is done. What do you think? Should the NATO mission be declared over even with Qaddafi still at large?

SEANTOR JOHN MCCAIN: I think that it's certainly winding down. I think there's no doubt that the-- the victory has been won, but there's enormous challenges for the Libyans. There's still signific-- areas where they haven't gained control. They have no national army, Bob. And these militias are very-- it's very unclear where they will go and where they lie. They need a national army. They've got thousands and thousands of wounded. They say that they've lost twenty-five thousand people killed, three thousand that have been maimed, sixty thousand injured. That's their government figures. We should be helping them. We should be giving-- they don't have the medical expertise and talent to take care of these people. Senator Rubio and Senator Kirk and Senator Graham and I went to a hospital in Tripoli. There are amputees there. We should be-- a-- sending-- either helping them by sending some of them to Landstuhl, our hospital in Germany, maybe even thinking about sending a hospital ship to Tripoli. If that's too dangerous, maybe to Malta. But we can help them. They don't have the medical ca-- capability to care for all of these wounded. More are still coming in. I think that would be very important in our relations with the Libyan government and people. Don't get me wrong. They have challenges but they are like America. They are proud of-- of what we've done to help them. And I think we could do enormous things by helping them with the casualties that they've experienced which have been horrendous.