Transcript: Interview With Hillary Clinton

CM: In your heart of hearts, do you now know what, I mean, I'd love to ask you what … what … what goes on in that … what it feels like to sit in that room?

Clinton: Well, I'll tell you … it is a heavy responsibility. And I think you can look at the expressions on all of our faces and see the seriousness and, uh … in some of the instances even the somber, um … expressions.

And this is a very heavy, heavy responsibility. Uh, you know, I served on the Armed Services Committee. I've been in Afghanistan, uh … meeting with our young men and women. Uh, you know, every time there is a death or an injury, it's just such a tragedy. And so we … we bear that in mind all the time. Um, and we're trying to make what we think is the best decision for our country.

CM: So in your heart of hearts, at this moment in time, do you know what you think the right strategy for America is?

Clinton: I am still, um … you know, considering all the different, uh … aspects of making this decision. Um, and I will, you know, be prepared to offer the President my best advice when he asks for it.

CM: But if he asks tomorrow would you know what you were going to say?

Clinton: Um, probably.

CM: It's been reported that you and Secretary Gates are leaning very much in the same direction. Is that accurate?

Clinton: I'm not going to comment on where I'm leaning or where anyone else is leaning. I think I owe the President my best advice and, uh … I think I'll leave it at that.

CM: And it's also been said that you're a little more hawkish, a little bit more hawkish of his advisors. Is that a fair characterization?

Clinton: No, I don't think so. I think, uh a lot of those labels may be, uh … convenient for people to apply, but I rarely find them accurate. I think that every one of us struggles with the same, um … choices that we are trying to sort out and I don't think labeling is useful.

CM: So it's been reported that the choices are, and I'm sure there are many variations of the choices, hold troop levels where they are, increase by 40,000, increased by 80,000. Is that essentially the … the range of options?

Clinton: No. There are many options. And there are all kinds of approaches that are being, uh … presented and considered. And it is also not just about troops. It is about what we do, uh … to, uh … you know, work more effectively, with … uh, not just the government of Afghanistan, but the people of Afghanistan, what we do to, uh … to create a better, um, uh … situation in Pakistan. I mean, so it's much more complex than that.

CM: There are an awful lot of American people who say we can't win in Afghanistan, just pull out. What would you say to them?

Clinton: I understand why people say that and, um … you know, I could only, uh … repeat that, you know, the president is well aware of all the different, uh … opinions and options and he's going to do what he thinks is best for our country. CM: I wanted to talk to you about the status of women in the world, a subject I know you care about, but next time. Clinton: Next time.

CM: There you go. You … you spent a tremendous amount of time in your life dealing with very powerful men, one of whom you're married to.

Clinton: (Laughs). Yes, that's true! (Laughs).

CM: What was the famous blow up in Africa? A lot of people feel that there was a lot of sensitivities about feeling overshadowed by him. Is that what happened?

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