In an interview with the Dalai Lama aired on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry bizarrely asked the Tibetan spiritual leader about the debt ceiling fight in Congress: "The President is in a fierce struggle with his political opponents over the future of the nation's finances. What is the best way, your best advice, in how to find compromise with those you deeply disagree with?" [Audio available here ]
The Dalai Lama responded by saying both sides "must work together" to come to a deal: "this is economic problem. It is not the interest of this party or that party. It's a national sort of interest." Curry noted how, "The Dalai lama says he offered President Obama comfort," during a weekend meeting at the White House.
Here is a full transcript of the July 18 exchange:
ANN CURRY: Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is in Chicago this morning, taking part in a religious symposium. Over the weekend I sat down with him in Washington D.C., shortly after his meeting with President Obama. And in our wide-ranging interview, he talked about his conversation with the President, and shared his thoughts about the spirit of American resilience. The Dalai lama says he offered President Obama comfort.
DALAI LAMA: So it is my duty to call him, show my respect. The President has had some sort of difficulties. So I want to show an old friend's face. We really – have the feeling of reunion, old friend.
CURRY: The President is in a fierce struggle with his political opponents over the future of the nation's finances. What is the best way, your best advice, in how to find compromise with those you deeply disagree with?
LAMA: Naturally, you have some different interests regarding your own different party. But when the nation facing crisis, those different view of political party is secondary. Now, this is economic problem. It is not the interest of this party or that party. It's a national sort of interest. So must work together.
CURRY: And to all Americans struggling:
LAMA: So, these current economic difficulties, no reason to discourage American. You must keep your spirit, your determination, and hard work. So that way you can overcome these kinds of problems. It may take time, but courage. Never discourage. In spite of difficulties, you must keep your self-confidence.
CURRY: His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. And little later, in part two of our interview, his thoughts about China, his successor, and going back to Tibet.
- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here  to follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.