The Washington Times - February 1, 2013, 12:10PM

A day after Chuck Hagel gave a weak performance in his confirmation hearing to become Defense secretary, the White House said it still has confidence in him.

“We expect the Senate to confirm Sen. Hagel,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. He said by the administration’s vote-counting in the Senate, Mr. Hagel has actually picked up support.

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Mr. Carney dismissed tough questioning by Republican Sens. John Mccain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and others as focusing on partisan issues and trying to re-examine the war in Iraq.

“What struck me was the stridency of the questioning,” Mr. Carney said, adding that the GOP seemed to be focusing too much “on a war this president ended.”