Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has worked under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, but despite his bipartisan background, he didn’t hesitate to slam Republican presidential candidates for their rhetoric on ISIS, Politico reported.
“First of all they, they don’t know what they’re talking about,” Gates told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Several of the GOP candidates, regardless of their status with the establishment, have suggested aerial bombing campaigns. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has brought up the idea of “carpet bombing” the region and front-runner Donald Trump has said he would “bomb the s---” out of ISIS.
“Carpet bombing would be completely useless. It’s totally contrary to the American way of war,” Gates explained. “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.”
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Gates said he doesn’t think any of the candidates meet his criteria for leadership, but that he’s not sure an outsider candidate is the right solution.
“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."