Gates: Obama and Clinton admitted opposition to Iraq surge was due to ’08 campaign

In his new book, former defense secretary Robert Gates says both President Obama and Hillary Clinton have admitted -- to varying degrees -- that they opposed the 2007 surge in Iraq because they faced each other in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.

According to Bob Woodward's review, Gates writes the following:

“Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary.  ... The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

The exchange, which Gates says was "remarkable," didn't seem to color his opinion of Clinton too much.

He wrote earlier in the book that he "found her smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world."

Gates has much tougher words for Vice President Biden, whom he accuses of “poisoning the well” against military leadership.

"I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” Gates wrote of Biden, according to the New York Times.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

politics

post-politics

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Politics

politics

post-politics

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Sean Sullivan · January 7, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.