Sec. Donald Rumsfeld: Obama is leading from behind

Get Glenn Live! On TheBlaze TV

On radio this morning, Glenn interviewed former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld about the latest scandals to rock the White House and his new book Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership, Lessons in Business, Politics, War and Life.

“We have Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on with us,” Glenn said. “Here’s a guy that, you know, everybody said he and Dick Cheney were the worst of the worst. ‘They were awful. My gosh, we’ve got to stop them.’ They weren’t intimidating people like this. They weren’t using the IRS. And they weren’t tapping people’s phones. They weren’t doing all of these things.”

While Glenn is not a big fan of the Bush administration, he has always appreciated Rumsfeld’s candor and conviction. “We have been a fan of yours from the beginning,” Glenn explained, “because you’re one of the few people that actually say what you mean and mean what you say. And you stand by it. There’s no mealy mouth about you.”

“Well, thank you,” Rumsfeld responded. “One of my rules in my new book is that dogs don’t bark at parked cars. And if you do something, somebody’s not going to like it and you have to be comfortable with that and life goes on.”

In the case of both Benghazi and the IRS, Rumsfeld noted there is a common thread involving the government turning on its people. “I think that is something that is so unacceptable in our society,” he said.

Benghazi is a unique situation because all evidence seems to suggest that the government could have potentially saved the four Americans who died on September 11, 2012, but instead they chose to do nothing. “I don’t recall a time in American history where we had the capability of saving people and we said, ‘Let them die. Abandon,’” Glenn observed.

“You know, we lost four public servants,” Rumsfeld said. “And the British saw the threat and pulled their people out, and our people saw the threat and reported back that they needed greater security and they didn’t receive it. And then once that happened and they were under attack, it appears that there were capabilities that might have been used. But I think the hearings that Congress is having are very important.”

In his new book, Rumsfeld provides leadership advice in the form of ‘rules’ he has picked up over the years from the people he has met, worked with, and known. There have always been those who question President Obama’s leadership both at home and abroad, but given the lack of oversight he seems to have even within the confines of his own administration, these questions have become more fervent than ever.

“I mean, somebody in the White House characterized his leadership role overseas as leading from behind. In this case he’s leading from behind even internally in the White House,” Rumsfeld said in regards to the President’s leadership strategy. “And the only thing he’s really stepped up and taken responsibility for was SEAL team 6. And the killing of Osama Bin Laden.”

One of the threats Rumsfeld believes this country faces stems from the fact that our leadership in Washington often refuses to recognize the dangers of radical Islam in the Middle East. There are people out there that are raising money and recruiting people to go out and kill innocent men, women and children, radical Islamists whose goal in life is to defeat the idea, the concept of a nation state and impose a Caliphate,” Rumsfeld said. “And the fact that this President will not even acknowledge that and calls the Fort Hood killings workplace violence and sends up cabinet officers who aren’t even willing to mention that there’s such a thing as Islamism…”

“I have to tell you, I am amazed that you would say that,” Glenn responded. “How can we possibly survive if the only time I’ve really ever heard anybody of any importance talk about a Caliphate is right now with you?”

If people begin to accept the fact that a War on Terror does in fact exist and is an ongoing threat to America, Rumsfeld suggested it is a fight we can win – but not with bullets. “It’s not like World War II or World War I or Vietnam. It’s more like the Cold War. You have to be willing to compete against the, in the ideological space. And if you’re not willing to even identify the enemy, it seems to me you don’t have a chance of prevailing.”

While the vast majority of Muslims are not Islamist radicals, we have to be willing to identify the people who are radical and are a threat to this country. “We are a country that believes in freedom of religion and we’ve demonstrated that,” he explained. “But I don’t see how we can prevail like we did in the Cold War over decades against this enemy unless we’re willing to identify the enemy.”

When it comes to the latest scandal involving the Department of Justice subpoenaing the phone conversations of AP reporters, Rumsfeld has a unique perspective considering he was a co-sponsor of the Freedom of Information Act when it was passed in the 1960s.

“It’s inconceivable,” Rumsfeld said about the notion President Obama had no idea the Department of Justice had subpoenaed the AP. “He’d have to be informed. If his Attorney General says this is one of the most serious – one, two, or three most serious things he’s ever seen by way of damage to our national security in terms of a leak – the President would unquestionably have to be informed… And I guess at some point we’ll know what it was, what was leaked and what the damage was. And we’ll be able to make our own judgments about it. I would defer coming to a conclusion until I have more information.”

Ultimately, we can all agree that strong leadership is going to be the key to getting this country back on track, and the leadership of this administration (scandal or no scandal) has not been up to snuff.

“Where do we end up if we don’t act, if we don’t change our course,” Glenn asked.

“Well, you hate to even think of the thought that there could be a tipping point, but I suppose in many things in life, there can be a tipping point,” Rumsfeld said. “I’m 81 in July. And every time I’ve seen things get bad, I’ve seen the American people get out of their chairs and change their priorities and if the pendulum goes too far in one way, they push it back. And I’ve always had a lot of confidence in that… I still have confidence in this country of ours, but I have to be realistic. I think it’s conceivable you could get to a tipping point where there weren’t enough people ready to push it back. And that’s why I mentioned the comment about reading history and having our schools teach civics and the responsibility that each of us have to help guide and direct the course of our country.”

  • snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    Mr Rumsfeld, 

    Here is the gist of the matter in my view – most of us already have concluded about the kind of leader Obama is in some shape, style or form. Nearly five years of his actions, words and his deeds have shaped those opinions, mine included.

    What matters, in my opinion, is how will he and all others of the administration be held to account in the end for Benghazi, IRS-gate, Press-gate, Fast and Furious and many other such scandals they have committed or allowed to occur over their time in office?

    Second, how can we ensure that the elected leaders of the nation do not conduct such corruption again in the near future? And how deep does it run through the government so it can be removed?

  • Sam Fisher

    When you say behind do you mean Obama’s is talking out of behind or he is just stepping back from reasonability?

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, there is no tipping point. The public is duped and their viewpoint is shaped by what they hear in the news media. Those with brains and an accompanying education are definitely in a minority. I don’t foresee any big changes in the US….ever. Our best days are behind us.

  • Anonymous

    Do you really call what Obama’s doing as LEADING? He is really running away from leading. He goes to bed when Benghazi is burning. He blames someone else for the country’s problems.
    He intellectually supports our enemies. He bankrolls the very people who we are at war with. He pushes their ideals on our military by preventing our Christian chaplains from telling the truth about Jesus Christ to our military personnel who are facing death at the hands of those enemies all the while promoting and upholding other religious practices. Where is his “leadership” when he and his cronies can’t even pass a budget? He is promoting the dissolution of the only thing standing between us and defeat by a foreign power by castigating the military through sequestration.

     Where are the examples of his leadership? I have tried hard to find them and I have come to the conclusion that they just aren’t there. If there is anyone who can supply me with a list of his accomplishment that does not defy logic and the loss our freedoms, I would like to see it.

    He’s not leading. How can you lead from a place of weakness?  He’s tearing down the bases of our country. His attacks on the Constitution have been often repeated. Our forefathers founded a free nation based upon a Constitution that protected the citizens from an out of control government. We have not obeyed the Law of the Land that provided that protection and have allowed this government to do the very things that the Constitution forbids.

    Leadership? HA!!!

    • Alfred Ferguson

      Let us quote (by paraphrase) Chaucer: “A churl [an intractable person] has done, is doing, and will do a churl’s deed.”

      (An intractable person is one who, like Obama, creates difficulties for those dependent on his integrity–and does so willfully, willingly–once he achieves authority or power.)

      Presumably, this is the attitude with which Obama regards those of us beneath him as we look to this elected leader–whether we voted for him or not.

      He is the only President we’ve got now, and until the end of his tenure. (But we can’t completely rule out his being gone even then–we cannot rule out the imposition, or the sanction, by an ignorant majority, of a third term.

       Remember we are dealing with a narcissist of a triumphalist mentality and his easily swayed, T V sodden, low informartion audience.)

      Would they vote for him a third time? 

      You know they would.

      • Anonymous

        You hit the proverbial nail on the head. He is a narcissist who cnnot abide for anyone to question or diagree with him. You the Bible says that we get what we deserve as far as rulers are concerned. Are we jaded by the way things are going that we have lost our way of protecting our freedoms. Cannot we not wake up from the stupor that we find ourselves in and rest control of our destiny from the hands of this president. We need to hold him accountable for the mess that our nation is in and at the very least change the leadership of the Senate next year. He can still be stopped, but it won’t be easy.

  • Anonymous

    I was such a huge fan of Glenn’s back in his days on Fox News.  He taught me so much about the constitution, the intent of the founding fathers, the Progressive movement, etc.  But now what has he become?  An armchair quarterback pointing out the mistakes of yesterday’s game.  What the hell is he wasting so much effort attacking a lame duck president for?  Hillary is the one who is going to be running in the next election, not Obama.  And Hillary is and always has been a Clinton and been in agreement with the Clinton line, not the Obama line.  She was the Secretary of State at the time.  This was a State department foul-up.  Go after the right target.  This is the kind of thing CNN does.  It is so starving for topics that once it gets one it just beats it to death.  Like the Boston Marathon thing.  There still doing “personal interest” interviews on the victims. Yaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! 

    • TexasMom2012

      Benghazi ties Clinton also to the depraved indifference of the Obama administration. She was the one on the phone when Americans were calling from Libya and begging for help to be sent. She answered the 2am (Libya time) call and failed her fellow state department employees. They both failed to act, the worst showing of leadership since Jimmy Carter. I cannot remember a time when the USA failed to even attempt to rescue Americans in peril even risking many other lives to save a single American. There is no possible way that Hilary could win the presidency after this little fiasco.

      We should be more worried about the damage Obama is doing to this country.

  • Anonymous

    The scandals will continue and will be suppressed as long as congress doesn’t put it’s act together. Someone somewhere has to start the impeachment process, there are enough facts on the table!

  • Herman Richardson

    “I mean, somebody in the White House characterized his leadership role
    overseas as leading from behind. In this case he’s leading from behind
    even internally in the White House,” Rumsfeld said in regards to the
    President’s leadership strategy. “And the only thing he’s really stepped
    up and taken responsibility for was SEAL team 6. And the killing of
    Osama Bin Laden.” It is quite amazing to me that the people of this country still believe and are still being told the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  You cannot prove it by me, and if you too believe that this is true that they did kill the man I can sell you some great desert property with an ocean vies

  • Reliquary

    Hmmmm  BO is not leading from behind; he is not leading at all.  None of this administration is leading anything.  When asked Holder doesn’t know, Clinton doesn’t know, Obama never heard it, Common…  lets get rid of the people we hired that are not doing the job and get the people who “do know” what’s going on in those jobs.  We hired these people to run things and they ( if they are not lying) have no idea what is going on…  Fire them!  Period. Hire someone who is going to run our country the way it needs to be run. Hire people who will take responsibility for how it is run and know what is going on. 

  • Mary Elizabeth Danuser

    Donald Rumsfeld is still so bright&can see how weve got t o stop whats causing riffs+mass corruption in America.1 thing that must be done is kick Obama out of office.We can’t take anymore of his harm.Liz   

  • Anonymous

    Yes but, but nothing will be done . nothing as to date so what’s all the hype. So  a few sacrifices will be made . the real question is what else , how much more and we will NEVER find out how deep the hole is. At every level for a long time the dems have done and carried out actions that we will never know. Elections, over seas deals, internal back slapping , behind door co favorite partisanship. on and on we go BUT never will we root out all the years , all the dirty deeds and all the  manipulations . NEVER !!!!! Yet the conservatives do the same to side step the American wishes. So what’s the diff?

  • USNbubblehead

    Although some of Rumsfeld’s decisions in Iraq turned out to be incorrect, I always saw him as a straight shooter and called things the way he saw them. He’s certainly better than our present SecDef.

  • Anonymous

    President Obama is like Moses in Egipt his heart was with the Israelies his brothers. Obama, in his heart, he is with and for his people the Muslim and I think he support this radical enemies, because the only way they will have their religion, believes is supporting this racicals to imppose the Caliphate, Obama is one of them. Since he start his presidence all world celebrate him, even Chavez and Africa, India etc. why? because the Islam is one or the one religion that it is growing in the world, the only one that has a history of steling, killing, abusive etc. to conquer territories and people, that is their idiology of their religion, even in the Coran they have the idiology that they have to do anything to make the Islam the only one in the world, their goal is USA, they whant to see the Muslim flag in the White house, they whant to imppose that religion to all the world. It is a conspiracy.

  • Anonymous

    revolution.  civil war.  we will die fighting.  much blood will be shed.  this country is ours and the constitution and the bill of rights are the supreme law of the land.  It is not up for sale.  It is not up for debate.  It is not to be misinterpreted.  It is not amendable.  none of it.  to do so will have great destructive consequences for our country.  GOD BLESS the USA!!!!

  • MudPuddleBunny

     Passionate and Bold … please read, we need to work together to battle this sickness; let God be in control!

  • Anonymous

    It has become quite apparent that we have really don’t have a President in the White House. Rather we have a mostly disinterested onlooker who only gets involved when he can’t get out of it. With the ranks of federal bureaucrats filled with anti-constitution, anti-freedom Progressives, unconstrained by any leadership from the top, the rights and freedoms of all citizens are at risk.

The 411 From Glenn

Sign up for Glenn’s newsletter

In five minutes or less, keep track of the most important news of the day.