by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served during the Obama administration, has turned into a harsh critic of the president, saying that Barack Obama always thinks he’s the smartest person in the room.
Gates also bashed Obama for bringing on advisers who do little else but constantly agree with his proposals, fostering a group-think environment where dissenting opinion essentially does not exist, The Free Beacon reports. In other words, there are no “strong” people around the president. And when there is dissent, Obama tries to crush it. Back in October, Politico reported that Obama’s advisers urged him to deal with Syria more aggressively, but the president refused to listen to advice. Now, the administration has been forced to acquiesce to Russian demands that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remain in power. Additionally, Russian airstrikes, which have proved to be far more effective than U.S. strikes, continue to stomp on the Obama administration’s foreign policy objectives.
“You know, the president is quoted as having said at one point to his staff, ‘I can do every one of your jobs better than you can,’” Gates told Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, on Tuesday.
While Gates ostensibly appeared on Morning Joe to promote his new book on leadership, he veered off into discussing the president’s ability to govern effectively. In the current White House, Gates said that the greatest problem is the inability to develop and implement a strategy.