Robert Gates Challenges Republican Presidential Candidates Who Call Barack Obama Weak On Defense And National Security

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates tonight, in an interview on CNN, challenged Republican Presidential candidates who have asserted that Barack Obama is weak on defense and national security matters.

Gates, a Republican who served at the Pentagon under both George W. Bush and Obama, said that when you look at the record, Barack Obama has been very willing to use aggressive tactics against terrorists, referring to the death of Osama Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders.

Gates also said that Mitt Romney’s charge that Obama promotes “Pretty Please’ tactics to adversaries has no basis, as there is nothing wrong with reaching out to enemies and hoping that one can reason with them, get them to do what we want, and utilize the military option only as a last resort. Without actually saying it, he was clear in believing that promoting confrontation is not the best tactic for a President to start off his administration, a slap at Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich, who all seem ready to declare war on Iran on Day One in the White House.

While not willing to take a stand on GOP Presidential candidates, Gates smiled and said he has voted in the past for Democratic Presidential candidates, without specifying whom, and that he would keep his vote this November to himself, refusing to say he would back the Republican nominee because of party loyalty.

Based on earlier assessments of Obama by Gates, one would not be surprised he voted for Obama, who it is clear he has very high regard for. Gates was a tremendous help to Obama in the first two plus years of his Presidency, and will go down in history as a truly decent, caring, patriotic Republican who was willing to help a Democratic President, rather than be petty, vindictive, obstructionist, all in the name of partisan politics, rather than doing what was right for the nation as a whole!