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


McFADDEN: The enormity of the problems that this country faces right now and that most Americans go to bed worrying, not just you know whether they have a job, whether they can afford to send their kids to college, whether or not, you know, a package is going to arrive from Yemen in the mail and blow up the house.


McFADDEN: I mean, what do you say? How safe are we?

CLINTON: I think that we have the most dedicated, professional, hardworking people in our government, who every single hour of every day are doing all they know to do to keep America safe.

When you think about the interception of those packages, that is the result of years of work, of building relationships with intelligence services in other countries. And we have to be right all the time. The terrorists only have to be right one time, but I'm very proud of the work that is being done in our government. I want Americans not to be governed by fear. Life is uncertain and unpredictable, no matter who you are and where you live.

We don't know what's going to happen to any of us tomorrow. You can step off a curb and get hit by a truck. We can't live like that. We have to keep being willing to face the future with confidence and optimism. I am a huge believer in our country, our resilience. We have to work together. We can't be shouting insults at each other and get anything done. We may have differences of opinion about the best way forward, but we all love our country.

We want to see the economy moving and growing again, so that people who are willing to work hard and play by the rules have a chance to get a good job and support their family and live the American dream. We want to see America respected and admired around the world. We want to make sure that the dream is there for our children. That's how we should be looking at the future. Now, part of the problem is we all know too much about what's going on in the world. I mean there have been bad things happening all over the world ever since, you know, people came out of the caves. That that is just human nature. But now we know within a millisecond about something terrible happening half way around the world.

You know, if there's a kidnapping in California, people in New York won't let their children go out and play. I mean we know so much, and at some point you cannot allow your fears to determine how you live, whether you're a person or you're a country. So we're going to do the very best we can to keep our country safe. That is the highest priority of this president, of this administration. But we can't live every single day looking over our shoulder. We've gotta get about the business of reshaping the future. That's what America's about. I run around the world talking to people in countries who can't get over the past. They can't move on. They are paralyzed. That's not us, and we need to act like the Americans that are fearless and focused on building a better tomorrow. And we'll get there.

McFADDEN: You said talk about the future. You said you're not running for President in 2012 or 2016. What about "2020"?

CLINTON: [laughter] I think I'm gonna be the best Secretary of State I could be, Cynthia. Thank you.

Interview with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

McFADDEN: Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for first of all letting us hitch a ride on your plane.

ROBERT GATES: Absolutely.

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