CLINTON: Well, Chris, I have a great deal of respect for all of my colleagues, Democratic and Republican, in the Senate. And I think that everyone is trying to figure out how to do the right thing on this important treaty.
I would just make three quick points. One, this is in the national security interest of the United States. There's no doubt about it. In fact, what I was a heartened by and even a little surprised by at the NATO meeting was the number of people like Chancellor Merkel of Germany, like foreign ministers and prime ministers and presidents from the Baltic countries, from Central and Eastern Europe, like the editorial written by the foreign minister of Poland, people who on the ground in Europe, nearby Russia, many of whom were part of the former Soviet Union, who are saying, "Please ratify this treaty now, United States Senate."
Now, why are they saying that? Not because they have a dog in the hunt between Republicans and Democrats in our country. It's because they know that this would be an important treaty for the continuing cooperation between Russia and the United States.
Secondly, we do not have any inspectors verifying what Russia is doing with their nuclear stockpile or anything else that is going on in their sights. We lost that capacity.
If you talk to any of our intelligence experts like General Jim Clapper, the new director of the National Intelligence Agency, they will tell you we can cannot go much longer without that capacity restored.
And finally, this is in the tradition of not just bipartisan but nonpartisan action on behalf of arms control treaties, going back to President Reagan, who famously said, "Trust but verify." Well, right now we have no verification.
So what we are arguing is that we'll find the time in the lame duck. I understand the legitimate concern that there might not be enough time to debate, to make sure that everybody is well informed. But as Senator Lugar, who is one of the leading experts in the world on the dangers posed by nuclear weapons, on the necessity of having more insight into what Russia's doing -- he said we cannot wait. I agree with him.
On ABC's This Week, host Christine Amanpour asked Ed Luce of the Financial Times if failure to to get the Start treaty passed would show the U.S. can still be considered a leader in persuading rogue states and the rest of the world not to proliferate with nukes?
LUCE: Very, very difficult. I mean, Russia, of course, is a part of the six-party group with North Korea, and therefore its cooperation is also important there, as it is on Afghanistan, as it is on Iran.These broader implications for failing to ratify START here go across the world. Russia's cooperation is something that Obama has worked on very successfully, very patiently, along with Hillary Clinton, for two years now, and this puts it in jeopardy.
Just one other point, though, about Mitch McConnell's pledge to make Obama a one-term president. Clearly, that's going to be the strategy of the Republicans. Question is, are they going to do it intelligently or unintelligently? And I think Senator Kyl, his comments and his stance, indicate it could well be the latter.