POLITICS

Hillary Clinton Warns U.S. Must Lead Globally Or 'Pay A Big Price'

The former first lady says she's not running for president in order to move back into the White House.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton asserts that the 2016 election will be a watershed moment for the United States. 

"We're going to lead in the world or take a back seat and pay a big price for it," she told CBS' Charlie Rose Tuesday. 

When asked why she wants to be president, Clinton said: "I'm not doing it to move back in, although it's a wonderful place."

Clinton, who nabbed the support of one of the country’s largest labor unions last week, said that it's either the moment to get the economy working for everyone or the country will experience increasing inequality "in a way that we haven't seen since the 1920s." 

"We're either going to figure out how to live together despite all of our differences, show respect for people, enforce human rights, civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, workers' rights, or we're going to really have the balance shift dramatically against the kind of democracy that I believe in, that I think works best for America," she added.

The former secretary of state also solidified her position on the war in Syria and her support for Wall Street during the interview.

Clinton said she could not conceive of any circumstances in which the United States would put combat troops on the ground in Syria because it would offer the Islamic State a "new recruitment tool." 

"Right now, we're not going to see a military defeat of [Syrian President Bashar Assad]," she added. "It might have happened a few years ago, but not now." 

Instead, Clinton envisions cooperation with Russia in order to defeat the Islamic State.

Turning to the economy, she said that as secretary of state, she strove to increase exports from American businesses. "I worked really hard to get more jobs for Americans, and that meant representing big business and small business and everything in between," she said. 

Clinton has faced criticism in the past for accepting donations from major Wall Street figures. She maintained in the interview with Charlie Rose that she's advocated for regulation of the big banks and financial services sector. "I also represented New York and represented everybody from the dairy farmers to the fishermen."

Clinton is currently leading in the Democratic field at 56.6 percent according to a HuffPost/Pollster poll.

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