September 27th, 2009
04:19 PM ET
9 years ago

'I very much enjoy working for' Obama, Gates says

Secretary Gates said President Obama is 'very analytical' and 'delves very deeply' into issues.

Secretary Gates said President Obama is 'very analytical' and 'delves very deeply' into issues.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was a prominent member of former President George W. Bush's Cabinet, told CNN that he is enjoying working for Bush's Democratic successor.

In an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, Gates praised Obama’s approach to decision-making as the nation's commander-in-chief.

"He is very analytical," Gates told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "He is very deliberate about the way he goes through things. He wants to understand everything. He delves very deeply into these issues."

Gates, who previously worked for 27 years in the CIA under six presidents, was the first defense secretary to be asked to remain in office by a newly-elected president when Obama kept him on.

The Pentagon chief was diplomatic when comparing Obama to other former occupants of the Oval Office.

"I'm not going to get into comparing the different presidents, Gates said. “I very much enjoy working for this one."

Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • President Obama • Robert Gates • State of the Union
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Ray in Nashville

    Tony, I am a real American. I was born in Alabama and grew up in the south and I resent the fact that people like you try to pretend that anti-Obamaism represents real America. The fact is that real Americans elected President Obama, who has worked hard to stave off the total collapse of the worlds economy when his Republican opponents were loudly proclaiming that we should do nothing. Those Repbublican opponents, by the way, have kept their word and done nothing to help the economy. Unfortunately for President Obama, the person who jumps in, roll his sleeves up and works hardest are very often the ones who get tossed aside when all is said and done. Just look at the state of American business.

    September 27, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. 2010 is going be wonderful

    Tony, you are a moron and as a Republican leaner, I would ask you not too speak on our behalf as you hurt the cause, however:

    IF the decision is made to SEND MORE TROOPS, you coward lefties will all by HAMMERING Gates "that bleeping Bush lackey" and "all the Generals want to do is cause wars", blah, blah, blah.

    You gutles liberals are funny, all that has posted here are praising Gates and as a Conservative I am also.

    The amount of gutless coward liberals in the military you can count on one hand and that is reflected by the amount of overseas votes that the liberals try to suppress every election cycle (especially Gore 2000).

    I have no beef with Gates here, but since Obama blew it in March with his new ideas, lets do plan B, but don't wait forever and DON'T go strictly by the polls Obambi, DO THE RIGHT THING FOR MY FELLOW VETERANS and the HEROES who unlike you volunteered to serve.

    September 27, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. Rick

    Mike from Iowa, you say if you don't like Obama we are to leave the country, if life was so bad in the US because of Bush for the last 8 years, why didn't you leave the US?

    You are just plain ignorant.

    September 27, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. unity

    BJK – There were a lot of liberals supporting GW after 9/11. I believe one poll had a 93% approval rating for GW. And that continued until he started his rhetoric and lies to invade a sovereign country that wasn't a threat to us other than they had the 3rd largest oil reserves in the world.

    Even though I don't agree with everything that Obama does. The one thing that has CHANGED from the previous administration is his ability to analyze and change his approach rather than "staying the course" when it's obvious that thats not working.

    September 27, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Bill in VT

    Something tells me you don't work for 27 years under a variety of administrations by offering criticism of your boss. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

    September 27, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. A Tar Heel for Obama!

    Mac, in Texas, ditto! I could not have said it any better!

    September 27, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. shianne are really confused and are not worthy of a response. How pathetic!!!

    September 27, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |

    I believe we were told that during the Bush years the right said we were Unpatriotic if we didnt support Bush we were Commiting treason and we were told to get out if we didnt like the President KARMA!

    September 27, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Andreea Udrea

    I want Bush back:(.

    September 27, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. Wonderful President

    I am so very proud of my president. I have never voted for a man that I could actually say represented my views. The others only wanted my vote. I am a proponent of health care reform. I cannot wait until it happens. I know the GOP wants it to fail not becaue they think it is a wrong idea, but because they want to discredit Pres. Obama. It iwill pass. We are praying for the success of this administration.

    September 27, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |


    You are correct the GA Republicans the anti-goverment Tea baggers are begging for Goverment help.

    September 27, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. nadeem

    Ha ha! Sarah Palin as POTUS. My 5 year old has read more magazines and flown to more countries than her. Plus her husband is a terrorist who tried to cede from the union

    September 27, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. PT

    Re Repotat:
    President Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia, and before he went to Harvard law school, and was the top student and president of the Harvard Law Review, (all on scholarship I might add), he spent three years as a Community Organizer to see for himself what the needs were of the people, since he planned to go into politics. How fantastic he is. It would pay people to listen to Gates and support this leader.

    September 27, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Bill of Florida

    I'd like to say that I consider myself somewhat liberal, but that I am for a continued American presence in Afghanistan. In fact, I think we ought to mop up the Taliban and Al Qaida. I just wonder why we had to divert our attention to Iraq when it posed us no threat whatsoever. As for being a gutless liberal, you'd better think again. I served my country for eight years in the military and took my chances. Some of you conservative Republicans have never served a day. So why don't you put your money where your mouth is and join the military instead of sending other people off to war for a change.

    September 27, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. doctordonna

    Maggie, if you work for the DOD I hope it isn't as an analyst. I've gone through several bosses and even trying to keep my job I would not heap such praises on anyone I didn't feel was worthy of such accolades.

    Tony, your remark is an example of what is really wrong with many Americans. You would like to tear down the Statue of Liberty and put barbed wire around our borders. By the way, by this point in Bush's administration there was a terrorist attack on American soil that he blamed on mistakes of the previous administration. But now that Obama is at the same point you say that everything going on at this point is solely his fault. You want change? Go live in a Third World country for a while then come back and complain that you have a President that wants to improve our already great country. I'm sure people who can't find food and clean water feel your pain.

    September 27, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Foreigner that watches? CA

    Both sides need to come together and find some middle ground. After all, don't both sides love America and want the best?

    Politics has turned into some sort of game that needs to be won at any price, and has cheerleaders rooting for one side only.

    This is not a simple game, it's your country and the leading country worldwide. Instead of hating on each other, libs and conservatives need to come together and realize we are a United States.

    September 27, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Perry

    The HEATHCARE Laws will be written by the Senators, Congress persons, and their Lawyers not the President and most Senators and Congressmen don’t know what they are talking about. What I would like to see happen is that everybody who need a job apply/run for these new seats in their state. Hundreds of people should run for Senators and Congressman – mind bottle special interests group so they don’t know who to support. Put fear in the Healthcare System on who will be making these laws. The qualification to run is so simple. You don’t have to be smart (ex. Sarah Palin) just have to be bold. By-the-way it’s a six figure job. Wanted in people in politics!!!!!!

    September 27, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. chico in Tucson

    Well, my personal thoughts on this President have been confirmed. He is a micro-managing, ALL political thinking, self-indulging leader. Just look at his press conferences. He spends up to 10 minutes answering a question. I think either he loves to hear his own voice or he has no clue on what the issues are. This "change" is far too much for this Democrat. I mean, I went from a clueless, simple minded President to one with the entire Wikepedia web information in his brain. What is worse? To have a clueless leader, or one who is tooo much in EVERYTHING. Too much in everything and STILL, the same amount of U.S. Army Soldiers are being deployed. The same amount of Soldiers are being killed. The unemployment rates are STILL terrible. There still is NO economic growth. Health care is STILL the same......"change"?.......NO THANKS MR. OBAMA. You can keep the change. WHERE IS MY RETURN ON INVESTMENT? As a Reagan Democrat, I am starting to have second thoughts. Maybe we as a nation should start THINKING again too.
    People bash President Bush, I did, and are wrong. He was just as good. Mr. Bush can sit back in his rocking chair back in Dallas and smile boldly.

    September 27, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Rob

    Haha, the fact that you refer to "real americans" shows that your idea of real americans is a small minority of people with IQs below 80 and confidences bigger than a mountain. If that is what a "real american" was, i'd be packing my bags. You are everything that is wrong with the world.

    September 27, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Debbie in PA

    The fringes on both sides need to tone it down and Gates' ability to praise Obama without saying anything negative about Bush is note worthy. Thanks. Real Americans elected this President by the widest margin in several elections. At this point, the last Dem President was about 10 points lower in the polls. I think Obama will be reeelected partly because most Americans understand he represents the future not the past. Is he perfect, of course not, nor were any previous POTUS. As an older middle aged white woman, l respect all American's ability to speak out and vote for whomever they please and don't see that because someone disagrees with you that means they are not real Americans. In fact, it really just reflects that people care about their country and that's a good thing. Before going negative, we should ask ourselves if our tone is helpful or divides us. True Americans should support their government, speak out if necessary and vote for whomever you wish but there's no need to attack one another.

    September 27, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. victim of republican greed

    I would encourage all my friends (left of center) to observe the Fox entertainment tea bagging McCarthyism meetings in south Florida. These wingnuts are fun to watch. (in a pathetic sort of way)

    September 27, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. Perry

    NEED A JOB _ PAY SIX FIGUERS: Wanted new people in politics!!!!!! What I would like to see happen is that everybody who need a job apply/run for these new seats (2010) in their state. Hundreds of people should run for Senators and Congressman, mind-bottle special interests group so they don’t know who to support. Put fear in the Insurance Company on the Healthcare System on who will be making these new laws to keep supporting self interest. The qualification to run is so simple. You don’t have to be smart (ex. Sarah Palin), you don’t need a college degree (ex. Joe the Plummer) you just have to be bold. By-the-way it’s a six figure job. And you will make history in the history books – 500 people run for State seat in politics can you see those headline now.

    September 27, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. ThinkAgain

    President Obama is a refreshing change for not only Gates, but the military leaders of all branches of the armed services. The last administration was run by a bunch of Chicken Hawks – fervent proponents of war who'd never served a day in combat, all managing to military avoid service or, in the case of GW Bush, go AWOL for 18 months.

    Rumsfeld was the worst, with his arrogant attitude and complete dismissal of the advice and strategies offered by the generals in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion.

    Even though President Obama has not served in the military, he comes from a family who has and respects their service to our country. (Also, like his wife, he didn't grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth, and so can relate to average Americans.)

    September 27, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. victim of republican greed

    When Arizona puts their 'no government health care' on the line in the November 2010 elections, will all the retired people in AZ that are collecting social security, medicare, and VA benefits have to give them up?

    September 27, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |


    They are not fun they are an embaressement to this country.

    September 27, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12