Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry slammed the foreign policy of the Bush administration on Saturday, saying it has caused the United States to become "a sort of international pariah."
The statement came as the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee responded to a question about whether the U.S. government had failed to adequately engage Iran's government before the election of hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005.
Kerry said the Bush administration has failed to adequately address a number of foreign policy issues.
"When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don't advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy," Kerry said.
"So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East — in the world, really. I've never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons as it is today."
Kerry said the government needs to use diplomacy to improve national security.
"We need to do a better job of protecting our interests, because after all, that's what diplomacy is about," he said. "But you have to do it in a context of the reality, not your lens but the reality of those other cultures and histories."
Kerry criticized what he called the "unfortunate habit" of Americans to see the world "exclusively through an American lens."