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Hagel nomination receives criticism

Posted: 01/08/13 08:25

President Barack Obama says Chuck Hagel, his choice as the new secretary of defense, is "the leader that our troops deserve." Obama formally announced his choice of Hagel in the White House East Room on Monday even as hes Facing a potentially tough fight to get Hagel confirmed by the Senate, Obama praised the former Nebraska senator's independence and bipartisan approach, and said that Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, understands war is not an abstraction.

Senator Mike Johanns dismisses a dust-up between himself and former Senator Chuck Hagel during the Kerrey-Fischer Senate campaign as a political disagreement. Both Johanns and Hagel are Republicans. Hagel sharply rejected Johanns' contention that Hagel endorsed Democrat Bob Kerrey over Republican Deb Fischer, because he was angling for a cabinet post. Johanns chalks it up as just a normal part of politics. Johanns says Hagel will have to answer for why he didn't support the surge in Iraq and for statements that seem to indicate lukewarm support for Israel. Johanns says he will be listening to Hagel's explanations before deciding whether to vote to confirm him.

Governor Heineman says former United States Senator Chuck Hagel has the experience necessary to be the next Secretary of Defense. Heineman acknowledges there has been a falling out of Nebraska Republicans with Hagel. Heineman says dissatisfaction with Hagel began long before Hagel endorsed Democrat Bob Kerrey over Republican Deb Fischer in the US Senate race. Hagel must be confirmed by the Senate before serving.