hite House-AP November 8, 2006 -
President Bush is confirming that Donald Rumsfeld is out as
defense secretary. At a White House news conference, Bush also
said former CIA chief
is his pick as Rumsfeld's replacement.
Bush says he had what he calls a series of "thoughtful
conversations" with Rumsfeld and that both agree the "timing is
right" for a change at the Pentagon. The move comes a day after
the Democratic gains in the election, in which Rumsfeld was a
focus of much of the criticism of the Iraq war.
Robert Gates (b. 1943)
Bush is praising Rumsfeld's six years there,
calling him a "patriot" who served with "honor and distinction."
Right before election day, Bush said he wanted Rumsfeld to stay
for the remainder of his term. Bush says Wednesday he told that
to reporters because he didn't want to inject a major military
decision into the final days of the campaign.
But it's clear Bush was thinking about a change before Americans
went to the polls. Bush says he and Gates talked at his Texas
ranch on Sunday.
Rumsfeld has been defense secretary since Bush took office.
Gates is currently president of Texas A&M University.