Gergen told CNN it was a mistake for Obama to release a statement detailing "exactly" what Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told him.
"We have a long tradition in this country that we only have one president at a time," the former White House speech writer said Monday. "He's the commander in chief and the negotiator in chief. I cannot remember a campaign which a rival seeking the presidency has been in a position negotiating a war that's under way with another party outside the country. I think he leaves himself open to the charge … that he's meddling, that this is not his role, that he can be the critic, but he's not the negotiator."
Before leaving Iraq for Jordan, Obama issued a statement saying Maliki told him he hoped U.S. troops could be out of Iraq in 2010 and the Iraqis are looking for a time line with a clear date for U.S. troops to exit.
"They do not want an open-ended presence of U.S. combat forces," Obama said.
Obama was in Jordan Tuesday to discuss the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.