Panetta endorses Hillary for president
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Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday endorsed Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonJeff Bridges: ‘I’m rooting’ for Trump as a human being Leading Pelosi critic Moulton once penned effusive praise for her: report Dems land top recruit for Ros-Lehtinen's Florida district MORE's presidential bid, citing the Democratic front-runner's governing ability and leadership on the international stage.

“I’ve said the next president of the United States has two principle responsibilities: One is to break the gridlock of this town, because I think one of the greatest threats to national security is dysfunction in Washington,” Panetta said on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”

“Secondly, they have to be a world leader,” he added. “He or she has to be a world leader that can deal with all of these threats that we just discussed.

“My view is that Hillary Clinton probably has the best credentials in terms of those two areas that I discussed.”

Panetta, who served as both CIA director and secretary of Defense in the Obama administration with Clinton, downplayed the notion that international affairs deteriorated during the former secretary of State's tenure.

“She understands the world we live in, she understands the complications of it,” he said. “Of course, you know, look, going back to Republican administrations as well as Democratic administrations, there is a responsibility for both the good things that happened as well as the bad things that happened.”

“I think that what this country needs at a very dangerous time is responsible leadership in the real world,” he added. “Not in a fantasy world, but in the real world, and she is somebody who has that experience, and for that reason, that’s why I support her."

He said Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy credentials far outstrip those of her Republican counterpart, Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats target Trump's border wall in defense bill debate Obama ethics czar: Trump fundraiser at his DC hotel ‘illegal’ Trump trolling of Comey — Not presidential MORE.

“I’d like to hear from Donald Trump a little bit of substance about what the hell he’s talking about,” he said. “I think that’s what we ought to be hearing more about.”

Panetta, who also served as chief of staff to former president Bill Clinton, has a long relationship with Hillary Clinton and praised the former first lady for the role she played in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

He wrote in his book “Worthy Fights” that Clinton supported the attack on bin Laden’s compound, while others, such as Vice President Biden and then-secretary of Defense Robert Gates, opposed it.