Transcript: Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Sec. of Defense Robert Gates Speak to Cynthia McFadden

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CLINTON: It's not fair, it's not fair! First of all we want Bob to stay, so I don't want him -- I don't want him on national television talking about somebody else doing his job! I hope . . .

GATES: . . . But I will say . . .

CLINTON: . . . we could convince him to stay.

GATES: I will say this. I think that one of the great strengths that Hillary brings to the job as Secretary of State is as spokesperson for the United States around the world. And to go back to the beginning of this conversation, that's not the role of the Secretary of Defense.

McFADDEN: Okay! But you're interested in shattering those glass ceilings, and with due respect two other people have been in this job before. There's never been a woman sitting in the Secretary of Defense's position.

CLINTON: Well and I hope, I hope there is . . .

McFADDEN: . . . The budget's a hundred times bigger than yours, the staff is . . .

CLINTON: . . . Well not exactly a hundred. It feels like a hundred!

McFADDEN: Isn't it a hundred? How much is it?

CLINTON: It's about . . .

GATES: . . . Ten times.

CLINTON: Twelve times, just give or take.

McFADDEN: What's your budget?

GATES: Ah the base budget?

McFADDEN: Yeah.

GATES: Is $550 billion.

McFADDEN: And what's your budget?

CLINTON: It's about $50 billion. Yeah. No, but I do want to see women break every glass ceiling, from Secretary of Defense to President and everything else. But I love the job I'm doing. I love being the Secretary of State. And it doesn't matter to me that other people like Thomas Jefferson have done it. I'm doing it right now. And it is a great time be Secretary of State, because we are having to break new ground in explaining what the United States stands for, who we are, our values, around the world, in ways that we could take for granted in the past, that we no longer can.

You know, I look a lot at survey data of young people, and here in Australia I just did a town hall at one of the universities this morning. Most young people around the world don't have the same memories that their parents and grandparents had of US troops fighting side by side in World War I, II, Korea, Vietnam, along with Australian soldiers or New Zealand soldiers, you know, preventing the march of fascism and communism to save countries from Singapore and Malaysia, all the way to South Korea. They don't -- That's not part of their experience. So they're not against the United States. They just are are not looking and thinking about us ah as being important to their lives. So the job of Secretary of State today is to make that case about American values and about partnerships, and not just government to government, but people to people. There could not be a more rewarding and challenging ah effort than what I'm doing right now.

McFADDEN: And if they -- if the President asked you to serve as Secretary of Defense?

CLINTON: I have made it clear I love the job that I have.

McFADDEN: If he asked you whether she could do it, what would you say?

[laughter]

McFADDEN: Hey you gotta- -- You can't blame a girl for asking... Secretary Clinton, you you just did a very compelling, in light of all the teen gay suicides, about it gets better.

CLINTON: Yes. Right.

McFADDEN: With the two of you sitting here is it going to get better for gay men and women who serve in the military? Is "don't ask, don't tell" going to be repealed?

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