Does Hagel have enough support to get confirmed?
Republicans hammer secretary of defense nominee during Senate hearing
- Duration 10:21
- Date Jan 31, 2013
Republicans hammer secretary of defense nominee during Senate hearing
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-- president Barack Obama's pick to be the next secretary of defense and that's former senator Chuck Hagel he came under heavy fire today.
During his confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Republicans held -- -- to the fire.
And they asked him a slew of tough questions about his past controversial comments including his -- -- -- positions watch less.
He said the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here I'm not an Israeli senator and the United States senator.
This pressure makes -- do dumb things at times.
You said the Jewish lobby should not have been.
That term should have been musician and some other terms.
Name one person in your opinion he's intimidated by the Israeli lobby in the United States and well first from enjoying.
I don't know what why would you say that I didn't.
I have in mind a specific -- do you agree it's a provocative statement that I can't think of the more provocative thing to say.
About the relationship between the United States and Israel and the senate -- the congress than what you -- it.
In his speech.
On the floor of the senate you referred to -- Israel's military campaign against the terrorist group Hezbollah.
As a quote sickening slaughter.
I would suggest the characterizations.
That do you think it's right that that Israel was committing a quote sickening slaughter as you said on the floor of the senate.
Well I think again I'd I would warrant.
Read all of that what I said.
First I've said many many times senator every nation has right to defend itself.
Andy do you think -- -- -- water would constitute a war crime.
And and you know we are depends on him they were attacked depends on.
Ouch now the Republicans -- not stop there Senator John McCain he also held Chuck Hagel accountable.
For not supporting the surge in Iraq watch this.
In -- -- -- 2011.
And -- in an interview with.
The Financial Times she said I disagreed with the President Obama.
His decision to surge in Iraq confess I did with President Bush -- -- surge in Iraq but do you stand by that.
Those those comments as.
Senator -- There were a senator I stand by me -- -- made him.
And that we -- We are correct in your assessment.
It would really I would defer the judgment of history to -- sort that out but our committee deserves your judgment as to whether you are right or wrong about the surge.
I'll explain why I've made those comments -- I wanted to know Adler right a wrong that's a direct question I expect a direct answer this surge.
I assisted here in the objective but but look if we review the record -- the W please answer the question will you correct or incorrect when you said.
That the search would be.
The most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam we are correct or incorrect might read or know.
My reference to this or Nancy might change under hagel.
The question is -- we -- right or wrong.
That's a pretty straightforward question and well I thought I would like to answer -- -- right or wrong and then you are free to elaborate.
Well I'm not going -- give you a a yes or no answer well a lot of -- show that today refused to answer that question.
This is a man the President Obama -- would be the best Defense Secretary pretty unbelievable joining me now to react to today's showdown on Capitol Hill syndicated columnist.
Yeah actually I want John you know what pat I was actually a goal -- -- were few moments there I thought I was watching -- cable news opinion show by the name -- crossfire.
Oh budget does that bring back memories for.
Well -- I did did this is.
I had to testify before the senate and Watergate Committee had brought that back to me Shawn did tell the truth but look I think -- it goes a good man he's a patriot.
He's got an independent mind I disagreed with him on this surge I supported it but I'll -- yeah I myself said that the Iraq War the invasion and occupation.
Of that country and killing thousands and thousands of people to deprive it of weapons it did not even have weapons of mass destruction that were not there.
I thought that was one of the greatest blunders in American -- -- his.
But that's the nation would have come on the through this year he said at a ran his government is -- who elected in legitimate.
His comment about let me know the Israeli lobby come -- pat.
We had an embassy and not -- Germany for eight years recognizing the government has legitimate.
What's it wicked and evil yes FDR recognized Stalin.
In the it is government in the middle of the wholesale Matthew really thank you Ukrainian people you really think that did this is a legitimate.
An elected government and -- unfortunate and -- Unfortunately it's legitimate I think they stole the last election.
In the United Nations yes you know his head should we talked to him yes we should.
To talk until that whether or not -- legitimate and elect is a different story.
Governor welcome back good to see again sir.
Thank you shot right.
Why the question I have is with all of these things on the table and all of these controversial positions.
Israel Jewish lobby he I don't think I've ever seen anyone get beaten up so bad and -- hearing.
Has Chuck Hagel did today.
Why did the president choose -- that's the question.
Well he chose them because senator hagel is a war hero and Vietnam veteran he served on the armed services committee.
He knows when I was in and and Washington he was -- go to guy on veterans issues he is a strategic thinker.
He knows President Obama well so we will have that access -- secretary of defense.
Look -- testified -- senator John Warner Republican.
Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi is form.
I think he's a very good pit direction he said hi Lisa let -- -- let's go through some of the things he said.
He said the United States must eventually eliminate nuclear weapons he said we must eliminate all nuclear weapons globally.
He said that the Israelis are are -- the Palestinians -- caged like caged animals.
On his comments on what.
Sean Ronald Reagan wanted to eliminate nuclear weapons would you disqualify him to the secretary to Ronald Reagan believed in peace through strength and Ronald Reagan had a very different.
Mentality than that man.
-- -- -- get real anti nuclear weapons he well he did but he also believe the strength the difference between him and Chuck Hagel chuck came on August compared to our military so it doesn't have the gap a vulnerability that Reagan fixed after Jimmy Carter became president.
But I shot what you have to look at is the record.
For twelve years Chuck Hagel had a very.
Pro Israeli voting record he.
Is somebody that is very committed.
To peace in the Middle East he knows the region.
He is strong on Israel.
On Iran he made that comment twelve years ago he said the you know all of us have 3030.
Years of public record of votes.
But I think you have to look at the context of -- him being nominated right now he's a Republican.
He's from Nebraska he's war hero from Nebraska and that her qualifications I love Nebraska but that's not a qualification it -- Salary arbitration.
I've had -- season has.
They're securely clear English tabloids got about an American but not just like you're just you -- a little bit they -- -- not.
I'm buying up from Patrick -- -- think about what a privilege.
-- he says he has.
Israelis the Palestinians are -- like animals his comments that he got burned badly by Lindsey Graham today look foolish.
And the same with Ted Cruz in the same -- John McCain he isn't he did not seem like you're equipped to answer a single question today -- What cannot look obviously he's -- political right now but would you not agree.
Even Israelis would agree that the condition of the Palestinian people now is not ideal that's why they -- -- two state solution.
There's real disagreement with how they're treated in Gaza what -- an American not -- the same good.
I'll thousands of rockets fired into the -- is -- -- rallies are helping them.
You've got to listen to the Israelis and help people came back.
Well all murders and we are becoming -- -- -- -- I'm -- true that -- -- that's determined using miserable.
All right Bill Richardson deal they -- to say -- can you at least acknowledge even the liberal media acknowledged this was a disaster tonight.
In terms of well -- hearing.
This is this is the role of the senate there are gonna ask very tough questions they have that right.
-- right it was not a good day for senator hagel but I believe he will be confirmed.
He should be confirmed.
And my hope is that the worst is over he is going to be a very good secretary good of defense I know the guy.
He's serious he's strategic.
He's a war hero he's he's normally he is the only toothpaste from the basket picks -- but I'm sorry I mean they have.
The sharp eyes and -- guy.
You know one guy that you know you don't want me you know -- Obama wants them I'll tell you -- because nothing better to cut our defenses at a time when the world was melting down and get a Republican to sign off on it it's a bad idea bad choice for sure I remember a pop.
The games themselves -- gone along wouldn't sequester which.
The president from that's just representative of what -- says.
He wants and pat let me tell you in this world of evil we mean nuclear weapons and for as far as the eye can see we're -- -- nuclear weapons.
I think we are but he's got the same vision that red nano one day hopefully we can get -- of -- and I I remember Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan was a close friend -- yours he's not.
Reagan Bob -- -- and I guys get -- -- about.
They -- it isn't.