JAMES A. BAKER, III, ON SYRIA, U.S. DEBT
The former secretary of state and treasury speaks to Charlie Rose
In a CBS interview on Dec. 7, The Honorable James A. Baker, III, discussed possible U.S. military intervention in Syria and America's crippling national debt.
"I happen to be one who doesn’t think we ought to be involved militarily in that country," Baker said. "I think the American people are tired of military involvement in that part of the world … our forces are stretched pretty thin, we’re a broke country."
"Anything we can do politically, diplomatically and economically we should do to bring about a regime change," Baker said. "We ought to be quite wary and leery of military involvement, which has a way of becoming a slippery slope. That is the policy that I think the administration is following and so far, at least, I agree with that policy."
With the fiscal cliff looming ahead, Baker said he is encouraged to hear overnight that President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have decided to negotiate quietly and confidentially. Doing so will provide both the freedom to "give and take and put things on the table" without fear it will be used politically against them, Baker said.
"We need something in the nature of a grand bargain along the lines of the Simpson-Bowles or Domenici-Rivlin [proposal] -- something that has everything on the table and that cuts spending and increases revenue," the former secretary of treasury said.
"The American people are so tired of the political posturing and the negotiating in public to score political points. It's time to get serious.The election is over. It’s time to do what the country needs badly to have done."
- Watch the video above for the complete Dec. 7, 2012, interview.