Fallout from Hagel's rough day on Capitol Hill
Defense secretary nominee's comments concern lawmakers
- Duration 6:04
- Date Feb 1, 2013
Defense secretary nominee's comments concern lawmakers
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-- this was yesterday as Defense Secretary nominee chuck -- all.
Spoke in front of congress he's now awaiting a critical approval vote.
By the armed services committee that is likely to happen the vote probably early next week is the best estimate that we have right now.
It follows a tense and combative hearing.
That we watch nothing like what we saw with the John Kerry hearing.
-- for us secretary of state -- the former senator.
He faced a pretty tough crowd in there and try to explain several of his controversial comments it is made in the past.
At times he was sort of stumbling.
Over his response is not a great performance by most measures take a look.
As to the Iranians.
-- -- red line.
Persian gulf some of these Iranian questions you -- I support the president's.
Strong position and containment.
As I said.
By the way I've just been handed a note that I.
Misspoke and -- I supported the president's position on containment.
Hey if I said it meant to say that -- obviously his -- opinion containment we don't have position protect.
You 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 by Iraq -- no.
My reference to the speaker Nancy might change -- hagel.
The question is -- you right or wrong.
That's a pretty straightforward question well I thought I would like to answer -- -- right or wrong and -- you are free to elaborate.
Well I I'm not going to give -- doing a yes or no answer well -- lot of -- show that today refused to answer that question.
-- have hasn't come from -- joined now by Missouri Republican senator.
Roy Blunt -- was in that hearing yesterday senator good morning welcome good to have you here today.
You know we were all watching this on television what was it like in the round.
My guess is in the room it was it was.
We'll less tense maybe in appeared on television but certainly as these hearings go it was a pretty intense hearing I didn't serve was senator hagel in the senate he had.
The left the senate long before I got here I serve with him.
When I was in the house and he was in the senate I liked him I admire his service in Vietnam his brother was there who they served in the same platoon is.
Family his wife was there that always -- always adds an element.
To the moment.
But frankly I'd I just didn't think his answers were very good and on the containment issue I really do believe I've become convinced that he really does believe.
His statements over the years -- about Iran and thinks we could contain.
A nuclear Iran I don't think we could I don't intend to vote for him.
In the committee or on the senate floor and -- just so many inconsistencies.
Yesterday that were explained by well that I'd have to look at the whole context of what.
He said I -- at the time senator hagel -- saying I think it pretty clear what he said at the time minutes in contradiction.
With what he's saying now -- just -- You know I thought that them but I don't think that now I'd actually have a little more faith and his ability to move forward in this critical job.
What's your sense among the senators who will vote on this.
It does it is -- says that is different now based on what happened yesterday and I mean if you're the same you know that that they are surprised shocked to some of his answers or is it a question of well he didn't do that well but it doesn't really change how I thought about it.
Well -- I don't know what everybody's gonna have to answer that question for themselves.
And you know the president usually gets a lot of leeway in.
Who he puts in the cabinet.
-- Serbs and leaves the same day the president -- -- more leeway than the president gets your mind you should get.
-- like a Supreme Court appoint me.
I voted for John Kerry though I don't agree with John Kerry on lots of things.
But this Defense Secretary job at a time when.
The president clearly is willing to really let our military be much smaller and much less capable.
And it's been in the future that -- been in the past having that person.
Not aggressively arguing for a strong American military.
Is a problem and I I think they're -- Democrats who surely would think the problem as well.
You know -- -- came up before hand comments of his about it Ron comments about Jewish lobby which he says he was she -- phrased it that way now.
You know with the White House said all along you know -- we actually get to the hearing because once -- -- the context of how he feels about these things we think that that will put those concerns to rest.
Does -- look real are going after yesterday.
-- that Jewish lobby question that is clearly offensive.
To people who were in support of Israel.
And one of the things he said yes -- trouble me when he said that's the only time I've ever used that phrase on the record.
If there's a phrase you used was some consistency off the record that's a big problem you know Peter said that's the only time I've ever said that.
And I shouldn't have said it that way that's that's one thing.
What he said that's the only time I've ever said that on the record.
That sure didn't alleviate high concern of his -- -- -- the -- close relationship with Israel and act like you -- -- had just let you know do you think he passes or not.
Depends on whether there's a fifty vote margin 51 vote margin or sixty vote margin would be my guess as to whether or not this nomination.
Is successful what does your gut tell you right now.
I think for a cabinet office the 51 bonuses generally considered the right standard for the senate -- and at that level.
I think he makes it but I don't think it makes it with a lot of room to spare interesting senator always good to have you thank you sound -- just -- that --