Gates 'Doesn't See' A Presidential Candidate With Necessary Qualities to Handle Foreign Policy

Posted: Jan 21, 2016 6:00 PM

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has little faith in the 2016 presidential candidates when it comes to handling foreign policy. In a "Morning Joe" interview Tuesday morning, the author of A Passion for Leadership told the panel he just "doesn't see" a leader with the temperament to wisely and patiently tackle our global concerns.

The panel asked Gates to describe the perfect "Frankenpresident." Gates referenced Obama's willingness to make tough decisions, George W. Bush's courage, and George H. W. Bush's unifying qualities. Unfortunately, he indicated those criteria are lacking in the current 2016 field.

Morning Joe: "If you could have all three of those things in the next president, you'd have a pretty good president."

Gates: "I think so."

Morning Joe: "Anybody out there that matches up to that bill?"

Gates: "I don't see it."

Yikes. To quote the panel: "That's depressing."

In the same discussion, Gates also insisted that the presidential contenders "don't know what they're talking about" when they say they're going to "carpet bomb" ISIS as soon as they get into office. That plan of attack he said, would be completely "useless."

Gates was the first secretary of defense to ever be asked by a new president of a different party to remain in the cabinet. Having served under both presidents Bush and Obama, therefore, he perhaps knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a commander-in-chief. 

Is he justified in his criticism?