NPR : News

GOP Senators Warn Of Tough Road For Hagel Nomination

President Obama will on Monday name former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be his next defense secretary, an administration official confirmed to NPR.

The former Republican senator from Nebraska is a Vietnam veteran. He would succeed Leon Panetta, who is retiring.

Our original post follows:

Republican senators say former Sen. Chuck Hagel can expect a tough nominating process if President Obama names him to be the next defense secretary.

"I'm going to take a look at all the things that Chuck has said over the years and review that," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on ABC's This Week.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reported last week, Hagel would be the first former enlisted soldier to run the Pentagon. He would succeed Leon Panetta.

According to The Washington Post and other news organizations, Obama will nominate Hagel on Monday. The former Republican senator's past comments on Iran, Israel and gays have come under scrutiny.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"Hagel has criticized discussion of a military strike by either the U.S. or Israel against Iran. He also has backed efforts to bring Iran to the table for talks on future peace in Afghanistan. Some lawmakers have been troubled by his comments and actions on Israel, including his reference to the 'Jewish lobby' in the United States."

McConnell said any defense nominee must have "a full understanding of our close relationship with our Israeli allies, the Iranian threat, and the importance of having a robust military."

The comments were echoed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

"This is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel," Graham said on CNN's State of the Union. "I don't know what his management experience is regarding the Pentagon — little, if any, so I think it's an incredibly controversial choice."

But speaking on the same program, Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, called Hagel "a serious candidate if the president chooses to name him."

Obama himself has defended Hagel from the criticism on NBC's Meet the Press last week, calling him "a patriot."

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

How Photos Of Crisis Can Shape The Events They Represent

NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Kira Pollack, director of photography and visual enterprise at Time, about how iconic photos might affect the conversation about the events they have come to represent.
NPR

How Big Egg Tried To Bring Down Little 'Mayo' (And Failed)

Newly released emails from the American Egg Board reveal embarrassing details about its fight against the vegan product Just Mayo. Industry critics say the board's antics may have broken the law.
WAMU 88.5

Friday News Roundup - International

Hungary struggles to deal with thousands of migrants at a Budapest train station. World leaders react to news the Obama administration clears a hurdle on the Iran nuclear deal. And the king of Saudi Arabia makes his first official visit to Washington. A panel of journalists joins guest host Tamara Keith for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

NPR

How The Architect Of Netflix's Innovative Culture Lost Her Job To The System

Netflix is famous for pioneering a company culture that demands standout results from every employee. One of the architects of this philosophy ended up losing her job to the system she created.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.