Gates Stands By Comment On Biden Being ‘Wrong On Most Foreign Policy Issues’

'I think vice president did have some issues with the military.'

• June 7, 2019 12:20 pm


Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates under President Obama reaffirmed that he believes former Vice President Joe Biden has been "wrong on most foreign policy issues" in the past 40 years, during an interview with David Axelrod on CNN's The Axe Files.

"[Biden] clashed with the Pentagon and with the leadership over Afghanistan, and you've been fairly critical of him at one point, saying he was wrong every foreign policy issue for 40 years,"Axelrod said. "Would you be comfortable with him as Commander in Chief?"

Gates replied that he thinks he will have to "wait and see" and if Biden is fit for the office.

"I think vice president did have some issues with the military and I did say that recently that I stand by the statement that I thought he had been wrong about most foreign policy issues for 40 years, especially during the Cold War, but in truth apart from Afghanistan there were a number of issues he and I agreed on," Gates said. "He's obviously got a lot of experience, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee for a long time and we will just have to see how these things play out."

Gates has criticized Biden's foreign policy expertise before, first in 2014 and then again in May during an interview with CNN's Margaret Brennan. Gates also criticized Biden's age, saying that the prospect of either former Vice President and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) taking the presidency at their age was "problematic."

"You don't have the kind of energy that I think is required to be president," Gates said. "I think… I'm not sure you have the intellectual acuity that you might have had in your 60s. So, I mean it's just a personal view… for me the thought of taking on those responsibilities at this point in my life would be pretty daunting."‘

Biden has come under fire in the past from his more liberal opponents for supporting the Iraq War, support of NAFTA and his flip-flopping on the Hyde Amendment.