During the APEC conference in Hawaii, some CEOs stopped by the press room to answer questions.
TAPPER: I was wondering if I could get your thoughts on President Obama saying to you today that, “we’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple decades, taking for granted people would want to come here, we aren’t out there hungry, selling America, trying to attract new businesses into America.” Has the nation been a little bit lazy in promoting itself? Mr. Schmidt? I’d like to hear from all three of you, though.
ERIC SCHMIDT, GOOGLE CEO: Relative to what standard of laziness? I mean, the country has had this as a policy for a while.
TAPPER: This wasn’t my assertion –
SCHMIDT: I understand. It’s hard for me to answer the question without understanding what we’re judging it against.
TAPPER: Do you think the nation should have been, could have been more aggressive in selling itself over the last decade or two?
SCHMIDT: Always. But I would have said that independent of any other fact. I think the government and the nation should always be focusing more on the fastest-growing parts of the world. So I’m not sure that’s a new discovery.
TAPPER: Would you use the word “lazy”?
SCHMIDT: I would not.