Clinton Slams Florida Pastor For 'DisgraceFul' Plans

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a foreign policy talk to weigh in on hot button political issues Wednesday, slamming a Florida pastor for his "disgraceful" plan to burn the Quran and strongly criticizing George W. Bush's fiscal record. Clinton warned about the long-term consequences of rising federal budget deficits, arguing that they will eventually diminish U.S. power and impair America's ability to act effectively in the global arena. Her remarks came during an appearance before the non-partisan Council on Foreign Relations. It was her second major foreign policy speech there as secretary of state. Clinton noted that Terry Jones, the Florida pastor, is the head of a small congregation, and said she wished his plans to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks hadn't attracted so much media attention. But sadly, "that's the world we live in right now," she said. Jones's plans could potentially harm U.S. troops, she asserted, echoing a recent warning from Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. The pastor's plan doesn't represent broader American views on Islam, Clinton declared. "It's not who we are," she said. Clinton also slammed Jones's plans on Tuesday night at a State Department dinner in honor of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Jones has so far rebuffed pleas to call off the event, saying radical Islamists are the target of his message. On fiscal matters, Clinton had harsh words for Bush. Cutting taxes while fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq without paying for them was a "deadly combination" in terms of "fiscal sanity," she said. She said that rising debt poses a national security threat in many ways, and warned that "responsible" authorities on fiscal matters "are not being heard right now."