Former Obama defense secretary Robert Gates says Joe Biden’s age is ‘problematic’

Democratic Party front runner Joe Biden is not only too old to be president, but he’s been wrong on almost every foreign policy and national security question for the past four decades, a former Obama administration colleague said.

Robert Gates, who served as defense secretary under former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, said on Sunday that he doesn’t know if Biden would make an effective president.

‘He and I agreed on some key issues in the Obama administration, we disagreed significantly on Afghanistan and some other issues,’ Gates told CBS News on Sunday.

‘I think that the vice president had some issues with the military.

Robert Gates (above), who was defense secretary under President Barack Obama, declined to endorse his former administration colleague, former Vice President Joe Biden, on Sunday

Robert Gates (above), who was defense secretary under President Barack Obama, declined to endorse his former administration colleague, former Vice President Joe Biden, on Sunday

Robert Gates (above), who was defense secretary under President Barack Obama, declined to endorse his former administration colleague, former Vice President Joe Biden, on Sunday

Gates (seen center with Biden on the left and Obama on the right in April 2011) says he stands by his earlier statements in which he said Biden was wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security question over the past four decades

Gates (seen center with Biden on the left and Obama on the right in April 2011) says he stands by his earlier statements in which he said Biden was wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security question over the past four decades

Gates (seen center with Biden on the left and Obama on the right in April 2011) says he stands by his earlier statements in which he said Biden was wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security question over the past four decades

Gates also served as defense secretary under Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush (seen left with Gates in January 2009)

Gates also served as defense secretary under Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush (seen left with Gates in January 2009)

Gates also served as defense secretary under Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush (seen left with Gates in January 2009)

‘So how he would get along with the senior military and what that relationship would be, I think it would depend on the personalities at the time.’

Gates told CBS News on Sunday that he stood by what he wrote in his 2014 memoir.

‘Joe Biden is impossible not to like,’ Gates’ memoir said.

‘He’s a man of integrity, incapable of hiding what he really thinks, and one of those rare people you know you can turn to for help in a personal crisis.

‘Still, I think he’s been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue for the past four decades.’

Gates on Sunday also said that Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is also running for the Democratic nomination for president, don’t have the ‘kind of energy that I think is required to be president.’

Biden is 76 years old, while Sanders is 77.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Gates also believes that Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont are too old to be president. Sanders, 77, is seen left, and Biden, 76, is seen right

‘I’m not sure you have the intellectual acuity that you might have had in your 60s,’ Gates, who himself is 75, said.

‘The thought of taking on those responsibilities at this point in my life would be pretty daunting.’

Gates, who says he identifies as a Republican, told CBS News that he also believes President Trump, at 72, may be too old for the job.

Trump was the oldest president to take office. He was 70 years old when he was inaugurated.

‘It’s a question people ought to address,’ Gates said, noting that Ronald Reagan was 73 years old when he was re-elected to a second term.

Reagan, Gates said, was a ‘pretty great president.’

The former Pentagon chief, who is currently the chancellor of the College of William & Mary, said that politicians in their 70s don’t have the same mental acuity as those in their 60s.

“When you’re talking about being the president of the United States, the ability to do the job in every respect has always got to be a consideration,” Gates said. 

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