Robert Gates On GOP 16' Field: 'They Don’t Know What They’re Talking About'

Robert Gates, the former Defense Secretary for George Bush and Obama was very candid on Morning Joe, earlier today when he was asked how he felt about the over the top rhetoric by the leading GOP candidates

BARNICLE: As Secretary of Defense, what goes through -- Former Secretary of Defense -- What goes through your mind when you hear specific candidates say we have to carpet bomb ISIS. We have to -- I'll eliminate ISIS on practically day one of my presidency?

GATES: Well, they -- First of all, they don't know what they're talking about. Carpet bombing would be completely useless. It's totally contrary to the American way of war. Total disregard for civilians. So I mean, part of the concern that I have with the campaign, particularly when it comes to national security, is that the solutions being offered are so simplistic and so at odds with the reality of the rest of the world, with the way the world really works.

Gates is refuting pretty much the entire Republican presidential candidates penchant for blood lust when discussing the threat posed by ISIS and other terrorist groups around the world. He's calling them all children when a grown up is needed in the real world.

He also didn't offer up reassuring words to Ben Carson and Donald Trump,who believe they can fly in and just run the country like a golf club or surgery.

Alluding to political outsiders Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Gates challenged their ability to be an effective president. “I will tell you this: I do think that politics is a profession,” he said. “And I think that if you don’t have any experience in how government works, if you have never been in government, your ability to make the government work is going to be significantly reduced."

“It’s different than business,” he continued. “It’s different than surgery. It’s different than anything else. It’s a skill set that you bring based on experience and based on dealing with other people.”


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Transcript of video clip via MSNBC.

BARNICLE: As Secretary of Defense, what goes through -- Former Secretary of Defense -- What goes through your mind when you hear specific candidates say we have to carpet bomb ISIS. We have to -- I'll eliminate ISIS on practically day one of my presidency?

GATES: Well, they -- First of all, they don't know what they're talking about. Carpet bombing would be completely useless. It's totally contrary to the American way of war. Total disregard for civilians. So I mean, part of the concern that I have with the campaign, particularly when it comes to national security, is that the solutions being offered are so simplistic and so at odds with the reality of the rest of the world, with the way the world really works.

SCARBOROUGH: John Heilemann.

JOHN HEILEMANN, MANAGING EDITOR, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: All right. I'm going to -- Mike mentioned you've served a whole bunch of presidents. I think maybe 8, right?
HEILEMANN: When I ask you to give me the single most -- the admiral quality about the following presidents, OK, and then we're going to construct a Franken-president for the next election cycle, OK? Most admirable quality of President Obama.

GATES: I think his willingness to make tough -- For a guy who had never run anything before he became president, his willingness to make tough decisions.

HEILMANN: Most admirable quality of George W. Bush.

GATES: I think his courage in taking on serious problems, as after 9/11.

HEILEMANN: OK. Most admirable quality of George Herbert Walker Bush.

GATES: His ability to bring people together in large coalitions to get a major job done.

HEILEMANN: OK. So if you had had the courage -- the ability to make tough decisions of President Obama, the courage of President George W. Bush, and the unifying qualities of George Herbert Walker Bush, if you could have all three of those things in the next president, you have a pretty good president, right?

GATES: I think you would.

HEILEMANN: OK. So anybody out there that matches that -- matches up to those -- to that bill?

GATES: I don't see any.

HEILEMANN: That's depressing.

BRZEZINSKI: Oh my gosh. I just got a chill. That's horrible.

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