May 21 10:24 AM US/Eastern
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama sees his secretary of defense just about every day, but he still flubbed Robert Gates' name on Thursday. Gates was in the crowd for Obama's national security speech. Pointing him out, the president said "William Gates" was on hand. Perhaps Obama was thinking of Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire.
The defense chief, who goes by Bob, was also misidentified at a Pentagon ceremony on Tuesday. Then, he was introduced as Ronald Gates.
Gates joked then that he had recently been introduced as Bill Gates. "He's the rich one," Gates cracked.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.