This Week: PA Gov. Tom Corbett Is His Usual Close-Mouthed Self On Penn State

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player One of the reasons why voters haven't called for the head of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is that he rarely speaks to the press - he does what he does in the shadows, so he doesn't mouth

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

One of the reasons why voters haven't called for the head of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is that he rarely speaks to the press - he does what he does in the shadows, so he doesn't mouth off enough to get people riled up. I didn't expect him to add much to the Penn State story on This Week with Christiane Amanpour, and I wasn't surprised:

AMANPOUR: So an eventful week on the campaign trail, but not enough to eclipse the story that continues to shock America, the unfolding scandal at Penn State, the outrage of a revered coach and esteemed university president looking the other way as an alleged pedophile preyed on children.

Yesterday, the Nittany Lions took to the field for the first time since the sordid story spilled into the open. Before kickoff, a moment of silence, as players dropped to their knees in recognition of the young victims. The Lions lost the game, their first without Coach Joe Paterno. And this morning, emotions on campus and around the state remain raw.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett was the attorney general who began investigating accused sexual predator Jerry Sandusky, and he joins me now from Harrisburg.

Governor, thank you for joining me.

CORBETT: Thank you for having me on, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Let -- let me just ask you, why do you think it took this sort of public shaming for the university to finally act? Why do you think everyone, basically, hid this thing for so long, from the president to Coach Paterno?

CORBETT: Well, Christiane, first, I have to put on the record that it's hard for me to talk about a lot of the -- the past. We have to look to the future, because I was the attorney general involved in the investigation. I have certain ethical rules that I have to follow.

But I would note that the board of trustees has appointed Ken Frazier to lead the investigation, along with my secretary of education, to determine exactly the question that you're asking. What happened? Why did it happen? And most importantly, how does the university move on from here?

I think that you saw yesterday a very good outpouring of support for everyone. When those two teams came together and, really, that whole stadium came together with those two teams.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me -- let me ask you, because this is obviously massively serious. And I understand your ethical and legal obligations. However, don't you think that the mere risk that somebody who you've been investigating for more than two years, the mere risk that he could have continued to abuse during this investigation, demanded a call to the police? Should that not have been, at the very least, something that the coach, that the president should have done?

CORBETT: We would have expected law enforcement to have been involved much sooner than it got involved. And as you know from newspaper reports, our office, as the attorney general became involved, not in a case related to the university, but in a case from a next-door county, Clinton County, and a school there, where Mr. Sandusky was helping out as a coach.

AMANPOUR: Do you think others are going to be held accountable? How far up do you think that this should go? Do you think Coach Paterno is going to face legal issues?

CORBETT: Well, as you know, again, Attorney General Linda Kelly has already said at this point that he's not a subject of the investigation. And she stopped at that point.

When you have investigations like this -- and I'm not going to talk about this one -- but the one thing you learn when you're conducting investigations is that, as people face charges, they may start to cooperate, they may start talking about different things. The investigation is an ongoing one. So, because of that, I can't make projections or speculation as to where this may go.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you about the former graduate assistant coach, Mike McQueary, who allegedly witnessed Sandusky actually raping a child at Penn State in 2002, but did not intervene. You have said that if you -- if it had been you, you would have intervened. Why do you think that he didn't? And why do you think that that was not taken up the chain of command?

CORBETT: That's a good question for Coach McQueary, as to why something didn't happen. I'm sure it's going to be answered at some point in time during the course of the facts being revealed in this investigation over the course of a trial. Mr. McQueary is a witness in this trial. And I'm sure that the facts will be determined as to exactly how far up that knowledge was passed through the chain of command.

AMANPOUR: Do you think that Joe Paterno should have come out and actually talked to the students about what happened, instead of just allowing this rioting to go on, I mean, take some responsibility?

CORBETT: Well, it's not for me to figure out what's going through Joe Paterno's mind. Certainly, he was under a great deal of pressure, a shock that he'd just been told that he was no longer the coach of Penn State. And I think your question was one that you have to deliver to him.

AMANPOUR: What do you think? Do you think adults should take responsibility for so brazenly failing children?

CORBETT: Well, in my role as attorney general, my role as a U.S. attorney, and now as governor, I believe adults should always stand up for children.

AMANPOUR: Governor, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

CORBETT: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And clearly, in this case, they didn't.

About Susie Madrak

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.