Playbook: “Bob Gates didn’t think much of Donald Trump during the campaign. He penned an op-ed blasting the candidate as unfit for office. But for the last two days, Trump’s inner circle has met with and consulted Gates, one of the few true bipartisan wise men still around. On Friday, Trump himself spoke to Gates. We don’t expect Gates will take a job in the administration. But crazier things have happened. Gates’ book is called Duty, and service is his kryptonite. Whatever happens, Gates has been in Trump Tower for two days in a row, and the next president’s inner circle is clearly relying on him for critical advice — and that itself is noteworthy.”
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates writing in the Wall Street Journal:
Mrs. Clinton has time before the election to address forthrightly her trustworthiness, to reassure people about her judgment, to demonstrate her willingness to stake out one or more positions on national security at odds with her party’s conventional wisdom, and to speak beyond generalities about how she would deal with China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, the Middle East—and international trade. Whether and how she addresses these issues will, I believe, affect how many people vote—including me.
At least on national security, I believe Mr. Trump is beyond repair. He is stubbornly uninformed about the world and how to lead our country and government, and temperamentally unsuited to lead our men and women in uniform. He is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief.
Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates told CBS News the he has some “real issues” with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s positions on national security issues as well as his temperament.
Said Gates: “You can’t have a trade war with China and then turn around and ask them to help you on North Korea. I have no idea what his policy would be in terms of dealing with ISIS. I worry a little bit about his admiration for Vladimir Putin.”
He’s also concerned about Trump’s go-it-alone strategy: “I guess one of the things that makes it challenging for me is that he seems to think that he has all the answers and that he doesn’t need advice from staff or anybody else.”
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates derided the Republican party’s candidates for an understanding of national security issues that “would embarrass a middle schooler,” the Guardian reports.
Said Gates: “People are out there making threats and promises that are totally unrealistic, totally unattainable. Either they really believe what they’re saying or they’re cynical and opportunistic and, in a way, you hope it’s the latter, because God forbid they actually believe some of the things that they’re saying.”
“Carpet bombing would be completely useless. It’s totally contrary to the American way of war. Total disregard for civilians. So, I mean, part of the concern that I have with the campaign, particularly when it comes to national security, is that the solutions being offered are so simplistic and so at odds with the reality of the rest of the world, with the way the world really works.”
— Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, quoted by Politico, saying the GOP presidential candidates “don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested on MSNBC that President Obama has “centralized power and operational activities of the government in the White House to a degree that I think is unparalleled.”
He added: “I don’t see the kind of strong people around the President who will push back on him. I will give him credit. I pushed back on him a lot and he never shut me down. He never told me to be quiet or refused to see me or anything like that. But I don’t see people around him like that now. “