(CNN) - Fresh off the plane from a whirlwind four days of meetings in Europe, Secretary of State John Kerry stopped by a progressive policy forum in Washington on Thursday to chide U.S. leaders for allowing the government to shut down.
“I wanted just to come here this afternoon…to reflect on the damage that events like the one we’ve just been through can do to the esteem in which the U.S. is held in the world, a key component of our national power,” Kerry said at a Center for American Progress forum.
Kerry, who attended a series of international summits in Asia during the government shutdown, warned that the United States must “be far more conscious about how our leadership looks through other people's eyes.”
“I have seen how our allies and our partners and those who wish to challenge us or do us harm – they are all sizing us up. Every day they are taking our measure,” Kerry said. “What we do in Washington matters deeply to them. And that’s why a self-inflicted wound like the shutdown that we just endured can never happen again.”
The former senator cautioned against letting politics “stop us from providing the leadership that the world needs.”
“We cannot afford to cede the best possibilities of this young century to others who have decided to be more disciplined than we have. The world watches us, but...the world will not wait for us,” Kerry said.