White House Pushes Back on Gates

Robert Gates and Joe Biden sat together during the United States Forces-Iraq change of command ceremony in 2010 Robert Gates and Joe Biden sat together during the United States Forces-Iraq change of command ceremony in 2010 Jim Watson/AP file photo

Bob Gates has struck a nerve.

Just hours after excerpts from the former Defense secretary's new memoir were published by The Washington Post and The New York Times, the White House is out with a statement trying to refute some of Gates's comments while commending his service. The statement, from National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden, is particularly critical of Gates's characterization of Joe Biden.

In his memoir, Gates refers to the vice president as "a man of integrity" who has been "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

President Obama, unsurprisingly, thinks otherwise. From the statement:

The President disagrees with Secretary Gates' assessment—from his leadership on the Balkans in the Senate, to his efforts to end the war in Iraq, Joe Biden has been one of the leading statesmen of his time, and has helped advance America's leadership in the world. President Obama relies on his good counsel every day.

This is likely not the last we've heard from the White House on the Gates memoir. The book will be published next week.

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