By Geneva Sands - 11/04/11 03:41 PM EDT
"Still today, if I was going to start a new business, the U.S. would be the best place to do that, in fact people try to come to the U.S. to try to do that," Gates added.
Gates deflected political questions and instead focused on his pursuit of education reform.
He offered cautious support of President Obama, praising the president's education and foreign aid record. But he said the decision on whether he deserves reelection is best left to the voters.
"I know on education he's been good, on pushing on foreign aid, perhaps an area I have expertise in, he's lent his voice to those things, which has been great," Gates said.
When asked what his opinion on the state of American politics is today, he said, "I don't have a broad view of that."
"I think it's important to fix the education system, and I hope that doesn't become a partisan issue where you have a divisiveness," he added.
French President Nicholas Sarkozy asked Gates to present a report at the G20 meeting on new ways to finance development given deep budget cuts in advanced economies struggling with high public debt, according to MSNBC.