Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said the United States was beginning to act like a “poor nation” while decrying spending cuts he said are contributing to bringing the country into a “new isolationism.”
Reuters reported that Kerry suggested to a small group of reporters that some Americans don’t understand tighter spending, partially motivated by congressional Republicans, could have a negative effect on U.S. engagement abroad.
“There’s a new isolationism,” he said, as quoted by Reuters, adding “We are beginning to behave like a poor nation.”
Kerry cited limited support from Congress for U.S. airstrikes in Syria last fall as evidence of “new isolationism.”
The secretary of state expressed concern that the slight decline in the State Department’s budget, which which will be included in the budget President Barack Obama is expected to present Tuesday, would “diminish our ability to do things.”
“This is not a budget we want. It’s not a budget that does what we need,” Kerry said, as quoted by Reuters. “It was the best the president could get. It’s not what he wanted.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.