November 23, 2013
HILLARY CLINTON: We were in another one of these dramas in Washington — would we or would we not default on our debt? And all the business leaders wanted to talk to me about was, ‘was the United States going to default on its debt?’ And I kept saying, ‘Oh, of course not. We would never do that.’ And just hoping and praying that I was right.
What I saw, in that incident, was bewilderment. Like, how could the United States do that to itself? Especially countries that believe in our model, really cherish our values, want to be moving more toward our example.
Fast forward, this last time — as I talked to people around the world — there was a sense like, ‘if you guys can’t get your act together, we need to de-Americanize the world.’ Which was a phrase used by a high-ranking Chinese official. That is not good news for us. That is a very unfortunate conclusion.
So we have to pull ourselves together. We have to stand up, solve our problems. Everybody is not going to get everything they want. We have to get back to good old fashioned compromise and we have to make those decisions that reassure America’s leadership at home and abroad.