President-elect Joe Biden Introduces his secretary of defense pick

Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin would to become the first African American to hold the role.
6:48 | 12/09/20

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Transcript for President-elect Joe Biden Introduces his secretary of defense pick
Biden introduced his pick for secretary of defense today retired general Lloyd Austin. Formally served as vice chief of staff of the army and has a long history of serving in combat zones. Biden spoke about Austin's barrier breaking career take a listen. Don't submit every single challenge an extraordinary skill and profound personal decency. He's a definition. Duty. And country. It every step. He challenge the institutions that he loves to grow more inclusive and more diverse. And if confirmed he'll be the first African American to Helm the Defense Department and well over 200 years. And another milestone. The spring and cheap global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz also White House correspondent Rachel Scott for more Martha you have known general Austin for years what do you think he brings to the position here. Well he brings a lot of of the military that's version that's for certain and military Shanley is and when he spoke today that's what he made very very clear. That's where his heart is he's been in uniform for 41. Years she graduated. Not from West Point. I knew him in a rock skis had a lot of battlefield experience. She is loved. By soldiers he really is sad old cliche a little bit nervous as soldiers soldiers. That's who he thinks about. But he you know he has a great in the lacked he has great passion for his job. He is an impossible guide to get to sit down and talk about himself. So I seeing the power of his speech today and clearly his background and it. History. Making potential here means a great deal to Lloyd Austin he was comfortably retired. He's on the board of Raytheon. He lives in the area here in the deep in the DC area but he is a man for which duty. Means everything and I'm sure when he got the call from Joseph Biden he promptly. Returned it and said that when it whatever you want sir he also fanned Joseph Biden talked about this a little bit today. Lloyd Austin new Beau Biden. In fact Beau Biden work. Before him with him when he was in Iraq that year he spent in Iraq that clearly is where Joseph Biden has up. Bond with Lloyd Austin he's Simon war shows he's on his vice president. When he was over there touring. But their battlefields. But it is likely that connection. To Beau Biden and apparently when they kept. Stop after. But Biden came home Lloyd Austin stayed in touch with him so I think that is Staten and a great deal to him what justice also. About the fairness Curtis furthest thing you could get from a self promoter. He doesn't really like to be interviewed it really is like pulling teeth. He likened if you do interview I am which I've been fortunate enough to do several times. He always talks about others that SARS in 2011. In the December 2011 when US forces all US forces. We're pulling out of a rock and general Austin oversaw. That opt. Operation and it was an incredibly complicated operation there were a million pieces of equipment and you're talking about armored personnel carriers and tanks and helicopters just like that one we're walking away from 1050000. Soldiers and he oversaw that withdrawal. But it was very poignant because Lloyd Austin was in on the initial assault into Iraq in 2003. Of course after 2011. When we. War all think it would be a last convoy out of there in the US was back in there as were others to fight crisis in 2014. And at the time Lloyd asked and became sent com. Commander so he oversaw the same region and during that period had some pretty tough questions about what had happened. So Martha you're there at with him as a military man some when he in the field about Rachel kind of switching over to the political side of things. Why are some Democrats. So concerned about this nomination. Great so he retired a few words in seven years ago which means that he's going to need this special waiver from both the house and the senate congress has done this two times before. Since this became a rule back in 1947. And one of those times was for Jiten that is of course you president trump nominated for secretary. Defense but at the time Martina has been tracking this you had seventeen Democrats. School voted against that waiver for bad guys who are now going to be in this political pretzel if you will having to explain. While they want out Hackett win Joseph Biden is in the White House putting forth nomination for this role but on the other hand you have some Democrats who are saying hey if we made this exception once for a white man. Who many dean does qualified why can't we make it for a black man who is now on the verge of making history. And so Martha ended on the verge of making history what do you think Lloyd's nomination. Says about Biden's strategy when it comes to the Miller to. Airy right now. I think what that if things you heard present what Biden talk about ways our allies and talking about Lloyd Austin as not only. Uniformed military officer but also he said he's been a certain diplomat and frankly. When you're in the military the senior level like that you are a sort of diplomats so he has experience there must in his experience is clearly in the Middle East. He'll have to take on the world but he is certainly capable of doing that. But I think bringing our ally is. Back in them back together. Back in a way they can trust. The United States again and really feel like an ally because to many of them and in the past four years didn't quite feel that way. That that that is a priority of Joseph Biden Joseph Biden also. You know he voted for the Iraq War may that was a long long time ago and I don't think Joseph Biden is some type of guy wants to get a lot of conflicts I there. And well known probably focus very much on counterterrorism. Operations rather than large. Large operations large our conventional. Type war is I mean I don't think he's looking to start and they. But that meant that is here is that is the way Joseph Biden thinks about foreign policy but but Joseph Biden we've all seen them you know. He is very good with people. Lloyd Austin I think and a one on one his line you don't have cameras in there is very good with people as well and is well respected. Around the world and you saw today how much this this would mean to him to fill that position.

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

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