On CNN, Andrew Sullivan Decries Gates's 'Gratuitous Insults' of White House

After Robert Gates criticized the White House in his new book "Duty," members of CNN's liberal panel spent most of their time defending Hillary Clinton and President Obama against the charges, on Tuesday's AC 360 Later.

"I'm a little gobsmacked by it. It's not what I would expect from Bob Gates," lefty blogger Andrew Sullivan lamented. Regarding Gates' criticism of Biden, he asked "why the gratuitous insults? It's just not in his character or personality."

And Sullivan attacked the former secretary of defense for, of all things, denouncing Obama's treatment of his military staff: "The one thing that I really found odd was, he didn't like the fact the President challenged the military chiefs. He didn't – he thought they weren't respected. I want a president to be able to talk to his military chiefs and disagree with them."

CNN's senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin didn't understand Gates' problem with Clinton and Obama both being "political" in their military strategy.

For instance, Toobin bristled at Gates' account of a conversation where Clinton and Obama supposedly cast their opposition to the surge of Iraq as "political":

"I bet Hillary Clinton would have a very different interpretation of that conversation. To say that politics takes place in Washington I don't think is a big scoop. But also the idea that the entire reason she opposed the surge was because of the campaign, I just find that sort of hard to believe. And I bet she would have a different interpretation."

And Toobin offered a defense of Obama's Afghanistan strategy:

"That's the thing that struck me, yeah, about the criticism of Obama for being committed to getting people out – the troops out of Afghanistan. First of all, Obama, as Andrew just said, promised to get us out of Afghanistan. And, second, most Americans want us out of Afghanistan. So why is that sort of politically incendiary? Isn't that sort of praise?"

Toobin and Sullivan weren't the only CNN guests or analysts to take issue with Gates' claims. As Mediaite reported, CNN's Gloria Borger said Gates "should have waited" until Obama left office before going public with his White House stories.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014