Admirers attempt to draft Robert Gates to run for president

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is brushing off an effort to recruit him to run for president.

Draft Gates 2012 has established a website and a Facebook page to advocate for Gates, a Republican who was appointed to his post by President George W. Bush and retained by President Obama.

“Bob Gates must run for president of the United States in the 2012 elections,” says the group’s website. “He embodies those principles that guided our Founding Fathers – the principles of statesmanship, integrity, pragmatism, diplomacy, and selfless service to fellow man.”

The group identifies Gates as a man who stands for “something more than empty, impassioned campaigns that promise something for nothing and capitalize on fear, resentment, ignorance, or polarization.”

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told CNN that Gates has no intention of running.

“Secretary Gates is both amused and flattered by the website, but he will retire from government for good later this year,” Morrell said in a statement.

“He has never run for any political office and has no intention of ever doing so,” said Morrell. “He looks forward to following the 2012 presidential campaign from his home in the Pacific northwest.”