Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of State and leading Democratic presidential candidate, said Thursday that she “would have loved” to spend 25 percent of the federal budget on foreign aid to overseas countries while the nation's top diplomat.

At a USAID event in New York to push for global spending to reduce poverty, she addressed the country’s limited foreign aid budget compared to the huge amount the public believes State spends.

“You all know that the polls continuously show that most people in our country think we spend 20-25 percent on foreign aid, and I would have loved that to have been the case when I was at the State Department, but in fact our entire diplomatic and development budget it slightly over 1 percent.”

One poll found that the public believes 28 percent of the budget is shipped overseas.

A Pew Research Center poll last year put foreign aid at the top of federal programs the public wants pared back.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.