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. FactCheck

    Of course CNN fringe network chooses to air this piece. God forbid they should ever report news.

    Wow the level of delusions that the Republican supporters are suffering are enough to cause a epidemic (I almost said pandemic but then realized that the RNC is a small enough population to be inconsequential). Hopefully, the new health care plan will cover these maladies.

    September 27, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. shouldhavevotedHILLARY

    CNN the headline on this article is typical. Also, Obama being "smart" or "well educated" does not make him a good President.

    September 27, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. TRA

    This country has come along way to abate racism but we're witnessing how racism exists in many layers. There is the type of racist like Tony who will disregard all who may not look like him or who have differing views. He's the textbook variety that are easy to spot just by their utterance of a few foolish words. Then there is the quiet subtle racist who may have a more progressive attitude that minorities are intelligent, capable and may be counted among his close friends. But deep in his heart there is something that isnt comfortable about his best minority friend becoming his brother in law or holding the most powerful position in the world. The unconcious belief that minorities can be good but there is some perceived threat if they are the best ; and not quite as deserving of our respect.

    September 27, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. King

    Helen, please learn how to spell before blogging. This is an intellectual forum.

    September 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Grant

    I think 3/4 of you people make up these "statistics" on the spot, 90% of the time.

    September 27, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Rob

    Smart man, Mr. Gates.

    September 27, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. proud dem in nc

    Smart man, this Robert Gates. Not one one of Bush's yes men. It must be refreshing to work for a thoughtful, analytical, intelligent president for a change. GOP are a bunch of bitter, narrow-minded, sore loser bigots!! They can't stand that their party lost. Never mind there is always that nitwit Palin or Joe the fake plumber for their '12 ticket.

    September 27, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their foolishness.

    Finally we have a President who thinks for himself.

    September 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. BushTheMan

    All the liberal hordes and parasites are out n full force here.Hey liberal losers do you have any shame stealing my money.What happenned to you get what you deserve.You got a guy who just is bent on ruining this country and it will take years to undo what he did.

    September 27, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. T Mckinley

    Oh my! What will Rush be saying tomorrow? I'm sure he will be telling all of you righties exactly what to think about Mr. Gates.

    And I'm sure you righties will blindly obey him, as you always do.

    September 27, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. BushTheMan

    Obama and intelligent?Just unplug the teleprompter and watch the fun.

    September 27, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. CBR

    Oh dear me Here we go again. Instead of focusing our energies to make the USA stronger, we are quibbling constantly over the President of the USA. We need to stop bickering and move ahead. There are many problems here at home including unemployment rates, health insurance, poverty, etc. Try to give positive suggestions , write to the political leadership with your ideas, send letters to the editor, work to make improvements in the area where you live.

    I would imagine that those who write are employed and have time on their hands. There are many non-profits that could use their energy, ideas, and help.

    September 27, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Joanna in PA

    That is because Obama is awesome Mr gates!! I am so very happy he is our president.

    September 27, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. CJG

    After briefly reading through some posts , not sure why people enjoy being hateful and think is is okay and even funny, What it says is how they are listening to talking heads and not using theirs.....people and try to remember we are one nation , a free people and you have your views, I have mine and we can try to respect and work together.

    I did not vote for Bush , but he was my President and as an American did not disrespect him. What I see now is total disrepect for anyone not in the right wing ball court.
    On the other hand , Obama supporters he is a mortal man and has a really hard job to do, he is not a savior but he is our Nation's leader and we need to support him not worship him!

    That said half of this discussion has nothing at all to do with the article!
    I am pleased that Gates complimented Obama's style of leadership , I watch the Sunday talk shows and his comments were refreshing as was McCain this morning. No hate filled comments but as Americans all in the same boat many has lost sight of this!

    September 27, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. Erik

    As a Canadian, I was very very heartened to see Obama elected and watched the proceedings that day. Do I believe that Bush started off right with going after those that feel the need to wipe out our way of life? Yes. Do I think that Saddam needed to go? Yes. But I also saw that he clung to his myopic view and ultimately this hurt the nation and Canada as well.

    Obama on the other hand, might think a bit too much, but he considers his actions and words thoroughly before putting them into action. Obama has worldly knowledge and that is something that is needed as it is not just the US (or indeed, North America) that matters.

    The one thing I respect greatly and wish our goofballs up here would do, is that he gets out in front of the people weekly and explains what he is doing to fix the problems he inherited and more importantly WHY he is doing such a way that everyone can understand him.

    He may not be perfect but after the debacle we have up here (a fair election, a conspiracy to bring down a duly elected government by the three losers and the threat of another similar incident this past month), I'm seriously giving consideration to starting the process of becoming a US citizen. Besides, I'm tired of our winters. I'm tired of seeing our local taxes go up, and tired of being lied to by those that are supposed to represent us.

    I know that the above does happen down south. The difference here is that US citizens are proud and patriotic and SPEAK UP when there is something happening they don't like. And up in Canada, we don't and that is wrong.

    No, I know things aren't perfect, but I'd rather have a leader who is honest and admits that the problem is a long one, whom I can respect, rather than the guys up here (who are all rich) saying "yep, the recession, she is over."

    September 27, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Kate in SW Fla

    There is no doubt that President Obama is a very smart man. Even those on the other side of the aisle know this. That is why they have decided to go the "he is a commie" route in trying to oppose him, because they know that the "he is dumb" will not work, especially after freakin intellectual pygmie Bush. Robert Gates is one who has decided to rise above the hate, and work for what is best for the country, associating with a President as the Commander in Chief, rather than as a Democrat or Republican. How refreshing. I wish the crew in the Senate and House would at least TRY to do the same.

    September 27, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Wake Up Please

    Grant – The idea the CNN is as "left" an biased as Fox is "right" and biased is more right wing spin. It just isn't true.

    Look at Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck, that "terrorist fist jab" lady, that trio of nitwits (can't remember their names), and the other Fox "news" personalties. Of these only O'Reilly has any legitimate opinions on anything, the rest just babble right wing reactionary nonsense, not even pseudo news. In truth the only notable one who shows any real sense of journalism at all at Fox is Chris Wallace – who is as right is CNN is left maybe, but him alone out of the whole lot.

    September 27, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Fed Up

    I'm sure he does enjoy working for Mr. Obama. He is getting a paycheck. That's something that others can not say.

    September 27, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Jerry in Florida

    To all of you NObama defenders, HE IS a liar and Secretary Gates is just kissing HIS royal behind so he can keep his juicy, well paying job.

    I used to think John Kerry was the biggest flip-flopper around. I've got news for you, NObama beats Kerry by miles. NObama has broken every promise he has made to the American people. HE's ruining our country and the rest of the elected officials (Pelosi, Reed, Barn Door Barney Frank, Catty Castor, etc., etc., etc.) are allowing HIM to sell out this once great country. He goes around apologizing to the world, but never to the Americans to whom he constantly lies to.

    NObama goes with whatever "flow" suits HIM. Except, he never goes with "flow", or the will of the American electorate.

    America now is the time for all of us to stand tall, speak loud, clearly and with authority.

    September 27, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Laurie

    This time we elected the analytical and intelligent guy! It was a pleasure to listen to his addressing the UN & G20. He speaks in full sentences and the world is listening again. The Repubs sound so shallow and their zombie followers will never admit the success of this administration even when their financial statements improve.

    September 27, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Matt

    CNN- Since when is the Secretary of Defense an "aide?" I thought that was a cabinet-level position?

    September 27, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Katica

    Reading all comments, I come to conclusion, we Obama supporters need to have a march in Washington. We helped elect him, and now dropped the ball. Why has he helped activate so many people? He said WE TOGETHER can do it, we can make the changes we need to have an America we can be proud of. Since the election, however we went back to our life, true a lots of supporter got beaten by the recession and had other worries, but he cannot do all of those things he promised without our support. Specially when the Republican Party has only one goal: prevent him to achieve anything and spreading fear where there should be none. WE left him hang, we do not even give donations to Democratic Party anymore as we did before, we are .

    The stakes are too high to let this opportunity of change pass. There are thousands of interest groups, who using misrepresentations, and lies, to influence people to act against Osama’s proposal even if in reality the proposal they try to kill would help these people.

    I was wondering why was/is NO outrage, No demonstration on the Mall requesting bank regulations, why there is no talk of breaking up the banks too large to fail. Why do we tolerate million dollar bonuses of people who led us here where we are at the time when working people salaries are reduced or laid off? Why? Is it in the food as Bill Maher says?

    September 27, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Michael

    Gates is too diplomatic to make a candid comparison between a rational head of state and a trigger-happy oil-moneyed cowpoke dancing on the strings of a cold-blooded closet neo-Nazi.
    For clarity's sake, Obama is the rational head of state.

    September 27, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. 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 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. marcus tullius c

    Of course Gates is positive about Obama. Otherwise he would loose his job!
    By the way, would CNN had published this article if Gates had said Bush was a good guy?

    September 27, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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