Outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said Americans have become a nation of "whiners" in the last few decades.

Speaking at Wheaton College in Illinois on Thursday, Daley, the brother of White House chief of staff Bill Daley, said Americans had been complaining rather than taking a leadership role on the global financial stage.

"We have become a country of whiners," Daley said, according to The Chicago Tribune.

In the same speech Daley said the federal government needed to stop growing while also adding to the national debt.

"The cost of government has to go down. It can't keep growing. It has to someway level off," Daley said.

Daley's comments come after a national mayor's conference last month in which mayors from some of the largest cities complained about their financial difficulties and criticized a plan to cut funding to cities by $4 billion.

Daley leaves office in May and will be replaced by former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

This story was updated at 2:48 p.m.

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