QUESTION: We’re back here live in front of the New York Stock Exchange. She was the junior senator from New York 10 years ago when the city was attacked, and now she is the Secretary of State. And I asked Hillary Clinton how do you balance protecting the country while at the same time protecting the U.S. economy. Listen in.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we’ve made a lot of progress in the last 10 years. I always think there is room for improvement, so I think we always have to be honest and say, what can we do better? But I’m very proud of a lot of the actions and reforms that we’ve undertaken. I think there’s more to be done. I’ll be giving a speech about that in about an hour. But I agree with you, too, that the core of our strength and our leadership is right here at home. And what we have to do is make sure that we are keeping faith with the millions and millions of people who believe in our country, who want a better life, and who are ready to die and defend us. And I’ve worked with a lot of firefighters, a lot of police officers, a lot of guys and women in uniform on the military, and I mean they’re on the front lines, and the rest of us need to do our part. So I’m very proud of our country. I get to represent us around the world. But I always think that we’re Americans. We always can ask ourselves, what can we do better?
QUESTION: Well, I know you’re very proud of the country, as am I. At the same time, for the war on terror, we’ve spent in the last 10 years about $1.283 trillion, and we still have threats. We had one last night from the Middle East. It’s Pakistan, it’s Afghanistan, some say even parts of Egypt. Where are we in the Middle East? They are a big piece and a big threat to this country. How do you feel that we’re doing and where are we in the Middle East right now?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, Cheryl, I think it’s important to recognize that there will always be threats. I mean, if – we’re living in a globalized world, where all that we take advantage of here – instant communications, easy travel – is available to people with evil intentions. And unfortunately, that’s just a new reality that we have to accept. But at the same time, we are going to do everything we can to protect ourselves, to be vigilant, to make it clear that if somebody comes after us, we will never rest until we come after them. And that’s what we did. It took us 10 years; we finally got bin Ladin. And we got him because we never gave up, and we never said, “Oh, that was yesterday’s news.” No. You attack us, we’re going to get you.
So I guess my view on this is we’ve made improvements. What I worry about is our country needs to sort of stay in the game. We need to be on our toes. We need to be ready to do what’s necessary to get the economy going again. And obviously, the President laid out some very important ideas last night. We need to be aware of the fact that our leadership, our ability to respond and defend ourselves, really starts right here.
QUESTION: How confident are you in your conversations with the President about the safety of the country? And obviously, you’ve got to request a budget just like everyone else as the Administration. The country’s under great financial strain right now. Are you concerned that the budget at State might be in jeopardy?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, obviously, we have tough budgetary decisions to make, but the President is totally focused and committed on making sure, first and foremost, we’re safe. And we’re going to take a hard look at what we need to do. I’m working with the Congress in order to make sure that I have what I need, and obviously the other parts of our government do.
But yes, we’ve spent a lot of money, but we had a lot of work to do. And when I look back on all the changes we had to make after 9/11 – because I was part of that; I was doing legislation, I was advocating, I was working with my colleagues – we’ve done a lot of it, but I’m not satisfied. I don’t think anybody should be satisfied. But at the same time, I’m very proud of who we are, and we just have to keep going.
QUESTION: Final question: You were a New York State senator 10 years ago on 9/11, and New York City, I mean, this is 9 percent of the U.S. output. I mean, this is a big piece of the economic health of this country. What do you want to see, and what do you think the future of New York City is?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I am so bullish on New York. I am absolutely convinced that New York will remain not only the number one economic powerhouse in the world but the leading city in the world. I mean, look at what’s happened in 10 years. More people live in New York than lived in New York on 9/11. We’re rebuilding at Ground Zero. We’re going to be back in business around the site with the new buildings that’ll go up. People are attracted from around the world. The real estate market is still booming here. All of those are tremendous votes of confidence in New York and in [interruption of audio feed.]