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January 08, 2014 AT 1:17 PM
President Barack Obama and other top administration officials rallied around Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday after former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates criticized him sharply in a memoir. Gates, who led the Pentagon from 2006 to 2011 under Republican President George W. Bush and then Obama, said in his book, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," that Biden had been "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades." The comments, reported in media accounts about the book, were especially stinging about a man who has made foreign policy a large part of his portfolio as Obama's No. 2. The White House said on Tuesday that the president did not share Gates' assessment of Biden. On Wednesday, in what appeared to be a deliberate show of support, Obama had lunch with Biden in a dining room near the Oval Office and invited photographers to take pictures of the event.