8 January 2014Last updated at 19:03 ET
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates (right) said Vice President Joe Biden was "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy" issue (file photo)
White House officials are defending Vice President Joe Biden following a scathing attack by former defence secretary Robert Gates.
In his recent memoir, Mr Gates criticised Mr Biden as well as US President Barack Obama for foreign policy decisions.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney described Mr Biden as a "leading" statesman on Wednesday.
Mr Gates was Pentagon chief under Presidents Obama and George Bush.'Excellent counsellor'
President Barack Obama (left) and Vice President Joe Biden shared lunch in the White House on Wednesday
Mr Obama and Mr Biden were photographed together having lunch in the White House on Wednesday in what has largely been seen as a deliberate show of support.
Mr Biden "has been an excellent counsellor and adviser to the president for the past five years," Mr Carney told reporters, adding Mr Obama did not share Mr Gates' assessment.
In his book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Mr Gates wrote that Mr Biden had been "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades".