But she again stressed the corrosive effect of the mounting U.S. debt, which she said threatened the United States’ ability to chart its own course in the world and sends “a message of weakness internationally.”
“It poses a national security threat in two ways: it undermines our capacity to act in our own interest, and it does constrain us where constraint may be undesirable,” Clinton said in response to a question after her address to the Council on Foreign Relations think tank.
The U.S. budget deficit is projected to hit $1.5 trillion this year and has become a campaign issue ahead of November’s congressional elections in which President Barack Obama’s Democrats are trying to prevent big losses to Republicans.
Clinton in the past has said it was “personally painful” to see the yawning U.S. spending gap after her husband, former President Bill Clinton, ended his second term in 2001 with budget surpluses.
She said on Wednesday she had no wish to “relitigate” the reasons for the current budget crunch, but nevertheless pointed to policies enacted by Obama’s Republican predecessor George W. Bush.
…Clinton, beaten by Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, noted that in her current job she is “by law out of politics” and said the challenges ahead would need a bipartisan “detente” on key issues including a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia.
“Whether one is a Republican or a Democrat, a conservative, a progressive — whatever you call yourself — there is no free lunch and we cannot pretend that there is without doing grave harm to our country and to our future generations,” she said.
She again urged bipartisan support for the START treaty with Russia, which has not yet garnered the Republican backing it needs to secure Senate ratification.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com …