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


CLINTON: . . . the conventional wisdom, but I don't think that Bill changed his principles or changed his objectives or really reversed course in any way. I think what he did was take a very clear-eyed assessment of what was going to be possible with the congress after the election, and moved on every front that he could to get things done. And I think that's what you'll see President Obama doing.

McFADDEN: Are you worried about the tea partiers and others who have been elected this time round, um wanting to pull back internationally, wanting to not support an international agenda?

CLINTON: Cynthia, I don't know, because I don't know them. I'm going to get to know them. I'm going to work very hard in a bipartisan way to reach out and consult, and I've already been calling some of the Republican leaders that I'll be working with. But I think we will have to wait and see. Now there are some people who campaigned along the lines of what you're saying, and we can always do a better job at what we're trying to achieve on behalf of the United States. I'm open to constructive criticism.

But there is no way that the United States can shrink from our leadership responsibilities, give up on promoting our interests and our values around the world, fight against terrorism, stand up for human rights. I mean the agenda that is so important to who we are as a nation I think will continue to be ah supported.

McFADDEN: Have you talked to Mr. Boehner?

CLINTON: I've got a call into him. I haven't talked to him yet.

McFADDEN: You can work with him though?

CLINTON: Absolutely. I, you know, I know him. I was in the senate when he was in the Congress.

McFADDEN: Two years ago you wanted to be president.

CLINTON: Yes, I did.

McFADDEN: Did you end up with the better job, do you think?

CLINTON: [laughter] Well, I ended up with a job that I love. I never would have predicted that I would have this job, but I'm very grateful for the chance to serve in this way. I've had a wonderful life in the public arena. It's been beyond anything I could've imagined when I first started all those years ago. And I think that it is clear that at this moment in time the United States has to assert ourselves on the international stage in a way that wins the confidence and the trust of people around the world again. And that's what I'm trying to do.

McFADDEN: You know, I said to people when I saw you last in Moscow that you seemed much happier in Moscow than you did in Iowa.

CLINTON: [laughter]


CLINTON: No, I loved my campaign. I, you know, obviously tried very hard to win, and that wasn't what came out of it. But I loved, I loved getting out and talking to people. And to a certain extent I'm campaigning for America now. I'm doing town halls, I'm meeting people from all walks of life. I'm using my political experience to try to explain America in ways that somebody in a country far from us who's never been there can understand, and realize we have- we have something in common that we need to be working toward.

McFADDEN: The enormity of the problems facing America . . .

CLINTON: . . . Right . . .

McFADDEN: . . . at this moment.


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