Video: Clinton: Haven’t committed to second term

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    >> i spoke to secretary of state hillary clinton tuesday about the meeting with china's leader and accusations the u.s. bullied the chinese in the past. i began by asking her in the obama administration is changing its strategy.

    >> well, i have read commentary that says we are too hard, too soft. in part i think it reflects how challenging it is to make sure that we stand up for our values, stand up for our interests, yet look for common ground wherever we can find it with china. because this will be one of the most consequential relationships of the 21st century . and i think on so many of the strategic and economic issues, the last two years really are a good news story. can you imagine how we would have navigated through the economic crisis if president obama had not been very forward-leaning in working with the chinese both bilaterally and through the g-20 to try to chart a very steady course? we are recovering, making progress. we have a ways to go, but the world economy , thankfully, did not fall into the deeper recession and even depression that so many people worried about.

    >> two things. what needs to be accomplished over the next couple of days and if we don't get it right in terms of our policy vis-a-vis china could we be headed for another cold war which is what some predict could be happening?

    >> we hope to avoid that. we don't think that's in america's interest. we want to have an open trading system. we want to have a lot of interchanges between our countries. we'll be announcing additional people-to-people measures because it is not just between governments. we want more cooperation on the economic front. we want to see more cooperation dealing with the thorny problem of north korea , its nuclear ambitions, its provocative behavior that's destabilizing northeast asia . and we want to continue to build those ties of understanding and trust. i think we have to chart a steady course and stay on it and never forget that we stand for american interests and american values . they stand for chinese interests and chinese values . we don't want a zero sum relationship. we want to look for as many win-win operatio opportunities as we can because this will determine the peace, stability and prosperity of the 21st century .

    >> i want to move onto something that former vice president cheney said on our program yesterday in an interview. he was asked about president obama 's political future. this is a little bit of what he had so say.

    >> his overall approach to expanding the size of government, expanding the deficit, those are weaknesses as i look at barack obama . i think he'll be a one-term president.

    >> what's your response beyond the laughter?

    >> well, i am pleased that former vice president cheney is healthy and resuming public activities but i could not disagree with him more. i don't think that will surprise anyone who is watching your program, meredith. i think president obama has been playing the hand that he was dealt by the bush/cheney administration very well indeed, rescuing not just the american economy but the global economy , beginning to deal with a lot of our long-term competitive challenges. so clearly it's a diametrically opposed view.

    >> will you be a one-term secretary of state?

    >> oh, i am very pleased to be working in this position now. i have said on many occasions i'm looking forward to returning to private life , something that i haven't had the experience of for a long time now. and i'm proud to serve this president. i think we have made a real difference in restoring american leadership and credibility around the world, but i do look forward to having a little more spare time and a few more hours just to take a deep breath which seems hard to have in this job.

    >> do we expect any time soon you are planning to retire like defense secretary gates?

    >> no. i have committed to president obama i will stay with him this first term and i intend to do so.

    >> how about the second term?

    >> well, that's not something i'm committing to or thinking about. by the way, if secretary gates is watching, i sure hope he'll stay as long as he possibly can. he's a great colleague and a great leader and has served our country very well. we've got turbulent waters to navigate through and it would be nice to have him at the helm of the defense department .

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 1/19/2011 10:36:40 AM ET 2011-01-19T15:36:40

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the Obama administration wants to find as much common ground as possible with China, calling U.S.-Chinese relations the key to world stability in the 21st century.

“We want to look for as many win-win opportunities as we can because this relationship is going to in many ways determine the peace, stability and prosperity of the 21st century,” Clinton said in an interview with the TODAY Show’s Meredith Vieira.

Clinton said the United States aims to have an open trading system with China and is looking to promote more cooperation with the country both on the economic front and on the “thorny” issue of North Korea’s nuclear program and “provocative behavior.”

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The interview comes in the midst of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s arrival in Washington to visit President Barack Obama.

Not committed to a second term
Clinton also said Wednesday she intends to stay on as U.S. Secretary of State until the end of Obama’s first term in office but has not committed to a second term, adding that she is looking forward to stepping out of the public eye in the future.

“I think we’ve made a real difference in restoring American leadership and credibility around the world, but I do look forward to having a little more spare time and a few more hours just to, you know, take a deep breath,” Clinton said.

She added that she hopes that Defense Secretary Robert Gates will “stay and stay as long as he possibly can.”

Asked to respond to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s reassertion on the TODAY Show on Tuesday that Obama is a one-term president, Clinton said she “could not disagree with (Cheney) more.”

“I think President Obama has been playing the hand that he was dealt by the Bush-Cheney administration very well indeed,” Clinton said, “rescuing not just the American economy but the global economy, beginning to deal with a lot of our long-term competitive challenges.”

Reuters contributed to this story.

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