Leon Panetta said he's stepping down as secretary of defense to return to his "walnut farm." There, Panetta said, he will deal "with a different set of nuts."

"As for me, after close to 50 years of serving the American people, which began in 1964 when I served as a first lieutenant in the United States Army, and then in both the legislative and executive branch positions in Washington, the time has come for me to return to my wife Sylvia, our three sons, their families, our six grandchildren, and my walnut farm," said Panetta. There he'll deal "with a different set of nuts."

The audience laughed.

While on stage with President Obama and other members of the national security team, Panetta touted his achievements. "We have ... decimated al Qaeda's leadership and weakened their effort to attack this country," said Panetta. "We have brought wars in Iraq and we will bring the war in Afghanistan to an honorable conclusion. We've opened up opportunities for all Americans to serve in our military, and we continue to strongly support our forces, their families, and our wounded warriors. These are some of the achievement that is I am proud of."

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