By Rebecca Shabad - 02/27/14 07:38 AM EST
Secretary of State John Kerry warns the United States is entering a “new age of isolationism” and is beginning to behave like a “poor nation.”
According to reports, Kerry made the comments to a small group of reporters on Wednesday in a discussion about President Obama’s 2015 budget, which will be unveiled on Tuesday.
Kerry explained tighter spending might weaken U.S. power internationally.
"There's a new isolationism," Kerry told the reporters. “We are beginning to behave like a poor nation," adding that some people don’t understand the positive effects of being engaged overseas.
“This is not a budget we want. It's not a budget that does what we need," Kerry said, saying Republicans demanded cuts in the budget deal. "It was the best the president could get. It's not what he wanted."
In the same conversation, Kerry discussed negotiations with Iran, and said diplomacy must be given a chance before the U.S. considers going to war.
"We took the initiative and led the effort to try to figure out if, before we go to war, there actually might be a peaceful solution," he told reporters, according to Reuters.
The use of military force against Iran has always been on the table but has become less likely since the interim deal to slow Iran’s nuclear program was reached in November. Kerry suggested it’s still an option but said, as a veteran of the Vietnam War, he thinks the U.S. should exhaust all other alternatives.
“That is an obligation we have as leaders to exhaust all the remedies available to you before you ask people to give up their lives, and that is what we are doing” with Iran, he said.