Gates says Clinton would make a good president
January 12th, 2014
02:59 PM ET
6 years ago

Gates says Clinton would make a good president

(CNN) - Republicans were quick last week to use former Defense Secretary Bob Gates' new book as ammunition against Hillary Clinton should she decided to run for president again.

But when asked if he thinks the former secretary of state would make a good president, Gates gave an answer that Clinton opponents will likely leave out of future attack ads.

"Actually, I think she would," Gates said in an interview that aired on CBS' "Sunday Morning."

In his memoir, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” Gates writes that Clinton told President Barack Obama that she opposed the 2007 troop surge in Iraq for political reasons because she was running against him in the Iowa presidential caucuses at the time.

“The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political,” Gates writes. “To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

Gates defends controversial book

While Clinton's critics quickly pounced on the admission, Gates otherwise praised Clinton throughout the book.

“I found her smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world," he writes.

Gates was not as complimentary about Vice President Joe Biden, however.

Although Gates calls Biden “a man of integrity,” he writes, “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

Asked in the interview Sunday if he thinks Biden would also make a good president, Gates was more diplomatic in his response.

"Well, I suppose to be even-handed, I would have to say I suppose he would," he said, laughing.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Joe Biden • President Obama • Robert Gates
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. YoonYoungJo

    Hillary Clinton would be an awesome President. Sadly so would Obama if congress would let him. I just hope if Hillary wins the next presidency that she won't be forced to deal with endless party bickering and can focus more on the welfare and direction of the nation.

    January 12, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Blinded by the republican lies

    Of course she will...She will be the next President..

    January 12, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    I'm voting for Hillary no matter who the incompetent GOP nominates and at least one republican agrees with me.

    January 12, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    The only ammunition the teaklans and rethugs have against anyone is so old it will explode in their faces.

    January 12, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Bea

    Of course she would make a good president. Any reasonable person knows it. That's why the RW keeps repeating "Benghazi" like a mantra.

    Benghazi = 4 dead
    Iraq & Afghanistan = many thousands, including over 150,000 civilians in Iraq. Afghanistan has the distinction of being the longest war in US history.

    January 12, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. bassman

    Imagine if Mr. Christie had said "What difference at this point does it make?” Would Democrats have given him a pass like they did for Hillary Clinton? Of course not.

    January 12, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Harold Read

    Lol!
    Get ready Barack... here comes the bus! Just a matter of time for the Press to toss you under the bus driven by Billary.

    January 12, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. monster Zero

    What has Hillary Clinton done in her political career to ever give the idea that she would make a good President? Look at her record as a First Lady, Travel Gate, snooping on political opponents through FBI files, standing by a philandering husband that goes on National TV and blatantly lies to the citizens about getting BJ's in the oval office from a 21 year old? Gosh, if you really went deep you could write a book on the Clinton's abuse of power, oh wait didn't George Stephanopolous already do that? How about Benghazi? That was an outstanding display of Presidential leadership, allow a consulate to be over run and our Ambassador to be killed by terrorists after receiving repeated warnings from our own intelligence people as well as other Nations pulling their diplomats out. Yes, that is true leadership for a Liberal!

    January 12, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. monster Zero

    Hey Bea, you forgot HIllary was a yes vote on Iraq...unlike Obozo's present and his yes for the good war in Afghanistan. She is a corrupt piece of crap just like her Impeached husband, how many campaign bundlers of hers are now doing time, I forget the number? The Clinton's were the beginning of the end for any decency associated with our highest office. I hope they do run her, should be quite interesting watching the facts unfold.

    January 12, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Michigan patriot

    You nailed it. Agree with your comment 100%

    January 12, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the Repub/tea bag majority

    @monster Zero: "How about Benghazi? That was an outstanding display of Presidential leadership, allow a consulate to be over run and our Ambassador to be killed by terrorists after receiving repeated warnings from our own intelligence people as well as other Nations pulling their diplomats out."

    9 hearings, but you don't like the conclusions – and can't explain why President Obama would "let" 4 Americans die (when over 20 were saved), when saving them all would have been much more politically advantageous so close to the 2012 election. (While you're pondering this, please also cite ONE instance of a tragedy – everything from 9/11 to the Sandy Hook shooting – when the initial reports were 100% accurate).

    January 12, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the Repub/tea bag majority

    @bassman: "Imagine if Mr. Christie had said "What difference at this point does it make?” Would Democrats have given him a pass like they did for Hillary Clinton? Of course not."

    What is it about Hilary's COMPLETE testimony that you don't get? Follow-up question: Have you ever read or heard her COMPLETE testimony? If all you listen to is Fox – and never use your computer to actually look up FACTS – then you probably haven't. Be sure to read the part below that starts with, "It is our job ...."

    "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?

    It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this. But the fact is that people were trying in real time to get the best information….But, you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime."

    January 12, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Iamnotfooled

    Actually, I think she would," Gates said in an interview that aired on CBS' "Sunday Morning."
    So much for another scandal.

    January 12, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    A Lot of Great Men do foolish things that make them no longer considered confidential. I think its the devil tempting them
    to make a profit elsewhere.

    January 12, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. don in albuquerque

    Woa! Don't that just frost your little GOTP buns?

    January 12, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Tampa Tim

    If Gates thought there was any wrongdoing on Hillary's in regard to Benghazzi, he would not have said she would make a good president. Could Fox be wrong? Just kidding, when were they correct?

    January 12, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. monster Zero

    Yeah, nine hearings is exactly where I divulged my opinion from. The Brits closed their consulate due to the attacks leading up to the death of Stevens. Clinton was repeatedly told and warned of the attacks, it is in the reports, the results back up exactly what I said. You need to take a look at the facts, and Sandy Hook was initially reported as the children being killed with an automatic assault weapon...wrong, they were killed with a semi-automatic hand gun by an autistic son of liberal progressive. The Benghazi lie was repeatedly sold to the citizens as the result of a homemade movie...really? Obama and Clingon wordsmithed their response to meet their political agenda, after all Al Qaeda is gone and disbanding now, right? I would maybe consider agreeing with anything you posted, but then that would make us both wrong.

    January 12, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Gurgyl

    Yes, on Hillary16.
    PS: our dearest Hillary.

    January 12, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    votes stupid .vote republican

    January 12, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Pete

    Let's get Issa and open up another witch hunt..So far he's batting what 0 for 6 and has to repeat the Benghazi deal again because he as well as his republican collegues are absolute failures..Hey wake up republicans your time is coming at midterms and a change you don't want is coming,complete democratic domination at midterms,chew on that with your 20% approval rated congress idiots....

    January 12, 2014 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    OUCH! Just when the wacky right wing thought they could use Gates's comments as talking points!

    January 12, 2014 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  22. Pete

    Excuse me,my mistype, 10% approving rating,don't want to give those idiotic republicans anything they didn't work for!!

    January 12, 2014 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. Gurgyl

    @herald read, do you know it is Pres. Obama that was training Hillary. Yes, Bill's clout is there, but Obama has more clout than, so only she could take off a year from Secretary of State. She did excellent. I am confident she will be the best president just like Obama.

    January 12, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  24. Evergreen

    Gates' description of SOS Clinton's qualities has reassured me that she, if elected, will be an excellent President.

    January 12, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  25. Smitty

    If Hilly cant keep Willie bills zipper up, how can she lead a country ????

    January 12, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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