CHICAGO
03/04/2011 05:13 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Mayor Daley: America Has Become A Nation Of 'Whiners' (VIDEO)

Retiring Chicago Mayor Richard Daley addressed a full auditorium at Wheaton College in the Chicago suburbs Thursday, where he said the United States has become a nation of "whiners."

Daley was discussing the nation's economy, and said that America should focus on being a global leader instead of complaining about the strength of other countries, according to the Associated Press.

"We have to have confidence. We've become a country of whiners," Daley said to the laughing crowd. (Scroll down for video) "We have to have confidence that we can compete with people if we all sacrifice a little bit for the common good. If we do that we can compete with any nation."

Daley added that in the 1970s, Americans feared the Japanese would take over the economy, then complained about losing manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

Now, he said, "we're whining about the Chinese and the Indians."

Daley, who was in Wheaton to attend a fundraising dinner for the J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government and Public Policy, also spoke of bipartisanship among local governments and the need for government in general to reign in spending.

"The cost of government is going up faster than the cost you can bear in your pocketbook," Daley said, according to the Daily Herald.

Daley, who has been Chicago's mayor for 22 years, leaves office in May. He will be replaced by former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel--who was replaced by Daley's brother, William Daley.

"I have no regrets," Daley told the crowd of his decision not to run again. "I haven't missed anything. I've enjoyed public service."

WATCH Daley's comments here:

View more videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com.