Obama Dines With Biden Day After Gates Memoir Slams VP

Quotes from the former defense secretary's new book give inside look into the current administration.
3:00 | 01/08/14

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Transcript for Obama Dines With Biden Day After Gates Memoir Slams VP
This is a special room. Hello I'm tiger -- is in new York and this is an ABC news digital special report. Standing by his man on camera and -- usual -- today President Obama and vice president. Joseph Biden's closed doors lunch. A public those doors -- open it comes a day. After excerpts from former Defense Secretary Bob gates memoir were released. -- ripping into Biden saying his career had been riddled with foreign policy mistakes. For more on this let's bring in ABC's Rick Klein in Washington Rick Biden is used to this attack especially from Republicans but. Let's take some of these quotes one by one here quote Biden has been -- in nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades. How unprecedented. Is this type of commentary in the memoir and and what are the consequences -- It's never happened before to having 88 Defense Secretary former Defense Secretary during the presidency. That he served under come out and attack in such harshly and even personal at times. Terms and that's what makes this game we've known about disagreements inside the White House even Joseph Biden has talked about. Some of the areas where he would have proceeded differently -- Secretary Gates and even President Obama. But to have Secretary Gates come out just just a few years after serving under this president. And stated Vice President Biden was so consistently wrong that absolutely -- and we're seeing. They reverberate across Capitol Hill -- Republicans are saying we've always been saying exactly that about Joseph Biden Democrats coming to his defense -- including President Obama. It says -- Joseph Biden is a trusted voice on foreign policy and has often been light on the issues this one absolutely -- Of course no accident that this. Normally closed door meeting has been -- to the press today -- also the White House been doing to try to counter these attacks. Well as you -- dismembering a body a work day for President Obama typically the president and the vice president have different schedules today they have no less than four events that were put on the public schedule. Where we were told that -- President Obama and Vice President Biden will be doing these things side by side that lunch. Is of course that the biggest on the schedule we've never seen pictures of that before so a clear message there we're all closing statements come out from a number of White House officials testifying to Joseph Biden's. Prestige and experience in foreign policy is a senator was the chairman of the foreign relations committee has traveled across the -- multiple times. -- -- ironic twist he was brought on to the Obama ticket because of for a perceived lack of -- -- on foreign policy issues he filled. A hole for President Obama that present Obama has continued to rely on him on he has at times -- being a voice in the room who said. Wait wait a second about what the military saying be skeptical of their motivations and that appears to it. He -- it got Secretary Gates a little bit upset is that you saw Joseph Biden in whispering in the presidency or just off stage talking about. Why you should be skeptical of the motivations of four star generals that's the kind of thing. That we now know the Secretary Gates is not a fan out. Tell more about gates why did the president keep them on after taking office it must've been. Fairly obvious or evidence. And throughout his period of time. That he remained in office. That there was strife. Gates was eight and is a Republican but he's more on the independent side anything else he has -- democratic presidents going back to Jimmy Carter. And was seen as more of a nonpartisan and any political figure more than anything else. And it was seen as a major gesture of goodwill in bridging the administration's typically find a Republican attitude of putting your -- -- -- -- democratic president. Vice Versa for Republican president but to do it for such a high profile jobless a statement. Also remember where we were headed by the end of the Bush Administration clearly the wars -- over but they were winding town it was a statement. By president -- -- try to see some continuity in foreign policy try to. Urged the -- of these -- to ended on it on terms that would be amenable to the United States still wasn't -- to rush anything out of there. And I think it was -- it got plaudits on the on the left on the right as well the C. That -- Obama would lean on someone who would be had been appointed by President Bush to lead the war effort he was seen as -- as an answer to Donald rumsfeld's that's part of the psychology. Around this as well I think though it'll be a long time before you see any president crossed party lines and -- -- Defense Secretary after a tell all -- like this emerges. Things. That Chester is not entirely appreciated. When -- -- let's let's get around a little bit and talk about congress for a moment because gates at planet to say in this memoir. About the vice president congress and the president so we're gonna go to another quote here about congress quote I saw most of congress is uncivil incompetent at the filling their basic constitutional responsibilities. Mike for managerial parochial hypocritical egotistical thin skinned and -- to put itself and -- election before country. I also bristled -- what's become of congressional hearings were rude insulting belittling. -- an all too often personal attacks on witnesses by members of congress violated nearly every norm of civil behavior. -- Not you can answer this but this -- shockingly -- -- ice so harsh. A couple of thoughts one -- -- -- -- I don't know about Clinton and congress the second is I wish you name names because -- love to hear who he thought particularly where this parochial. The third thought I have is this is kind of -- thought bubble. When you seem. Administration officials at that witness table being pilloried by members of congress who have very parochial reelection interest in mind. You wonder what they're really thinking about the people on the other side of the table at the front of the room. This is it. And I think it is that lack of you know lack of understanding -- lack of respect for. Each other that -- so many of these hearings that have become. Televised -- knows more than anything else you had a handful of members who I'm sure -- -- Secretary Gates would say our interest in the policy wanna do right by everyone else but they are television events by and large I think he was calling that out for. The the immediacy the hypocrisy the humanity of so many of these hearings. But -- -- -- deal with that level of visceral criticism. I -- aren't you getting down and dirty with the people that you're criticizing. -- he said that he had a half a mind at some of these hearings that just get up its -- quit -- who -- along with -- anyway of course he didn't do that that would have been quite a moment -- -- -- talking about for a long time. He went through the ritual and in fact he. He played that the role that he is expected to play I can't remember a single instance -- -- -- losing his temper unlike some other Obama administration officials. What famously done so repeatedly in front of congress so he sat there he took his -- he realized what the show was as many as many as secretary before -- -- have done. But you're right take it to leave this I think he he he has a bitterness around Washington around the process. That is bubbles through this narrative it's not just of the frustration about the politics being played inside the White House. -- Capitol Hill it's everything about the system that didn't -- him down and it's just that. Another in indication of why he wanted to get out when he did and midway through the first Obama term. There's certainly been lots of reaction and some more muted than you might think we have secretary of -- excuse -- speaker of the house John Boehner. Responding today let's listen. -- and titled it -- governments under the First Amendment. I just like anyone else. OK so. -- in the books. Gates also record isn't calls a meeting in march of 2011. During which President Obama expressed his frustration over the lack of progress in Afghanistan he wrote quote. -- -- sat there I thought the president doesn't trust his commander can't stand Karzai doesn't believe in his own strategy and doesn't consider the war to be here is. For him it's all about getting out. To the president's action. Bear out that description or did the president's actions bear out that description. Yes and now I he took some politically pres Obama took some politically unpopular things in factory is gates -- called -- in the minority opinion in that room. Despite the objections of as vice president to put more troops into. In -- Afghanistan before he started to withdraw for instance so I he has taken steps that at times cut cut -- -- against this portrayal by Secretary Gates. And in fact gates hedges his descriptions in the book he talks about the president's leadership is listening skills he likens -- to George W. Bush in a lot of ways some similarities in their personality. Clearly President Obama did not like inheriting these two -- sought as much of his mission to get out of them. But the the ultimate charge that Secretary Gates might -- levels about. Political expediency taking over national security he doesn't quite go there with President Obama and I think ultimately you come away with the perception of of some respect. The Secretary Gates maintains for President Obama so he pulls a bit of a punch on that unlike his portrayal a Vice President Biden there are some flattering elements of what he has to say about his former boss the president. Okay where it is gates go from here obviously. He's a man that everyone wants to talk to now that we have these excerpts and people you know one ask some follow -- to some of the points that -- here. He goes on book tour and he is selling a book and add something the White House even. In in choosing not to respond to -- with any kind of a blast -- let it be known that they see this is as part of a book selling expedition they wished him well. He is if recovering from from a broken neck as a matter factories -- little out. On the on -- he's going to be everywhere over the next week or two on media appearances on talk shows on late night comedy as well as news programs. He's going to be a lot of places and I think every time the Obama administration and particularly -- -- see -- they're gonna have to cringe just a little bit. All right ABC news political director Rick Klein thank you very much for breaking -- -- down from us the latest. On the fallout from this scathing memoir from the former Defense Secretary stay right here at abcnews.com. Has been an ABC news digital special report on -- Hernandez in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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