- Spain evacuates staff from embassy in Libya
- Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola fears; 2 volunteers isolated
- House overwhelmingly approves $16 billion cash infusion for VA overhaul
- Obama admin to blame for HealthCare.gov woes, $840M cost: GAO
- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns shelling of U.N. school in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
Chuck Hagel’s critics say defense nominee will be confirmed
Express respect for Obama’s discretion
Question of the Day
Two of the most outspoken critics of Chuck Hagel's nomination as defense secretary indicated Sunday that the former senator from Nebraska likely will be confirmed when the Senate reconvenes next Monday.
"We will have a vote when we get back, and I'm confident that Sen. Hagel will probably have the votes necessary to be confirmed," Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I don't believe he's qualified, but I don't believe we should hold up his confirmation any further."
Mr. McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the Senate should respect the president's right to pick his own team.
Asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether he would continue to block Mr. Hagel's nomination when the Senate returns, Mr. Graham said, "At the end of the day, this is the president's decision, I give him great discretion."
Still, like his colleague from Arizona, the South Carolina Republican doesn't think Mr. Hagel is qualified, and he defended the refusal of Senate Republicans last week to allow an up-or-down vote on the nominee.
"I think we're doing our job to scrutinize, I think, one of the most unqualified, radical choices for secretary of defense in a very long time," he said.
Mr. Hagel's critics contend he hasn't been supportive enough of Israel and would be too soft when it comes to dealing with Iran.
Democrats fell short of the 60 votes necessary to end debate on Mr. Hagel's nomination, with Republican senators saying they wanted more time to pore over information on Mr. Hagel and the White House response to the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11.
Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham said they still have unanswered questions about the attacks that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador.
Mr. Graham took a shot at former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who deflected questions from the senators when she testified on Capitol Hill last month.
"When Secretary Clinton said she had a clear-eyed view of the threats we faced in Libya she was not clear eyed, she was blind and deaf," Mr. Graham said.
Another GOP senator, Wyoming's John Barrasso, said Mr. Hagel's rough ride through the confirmation process has damaged his ability to lead the Pentagon.
"He's going to be less effective because of the fact [that] the president nominated him," Mr. Barrasso said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think it is going to impact him as he tries to limp across the finish line to get confirmed."
But the White House also weighed in Sunday on behalf of the president's pick.
The new White House chief of staff, Denis McDonough, said there's a "grave concern" about delays in confirming Mr. Hagel and the president's nominee for head of the CIA, John O. Brennan, the president's top counterterrorism adviser.
"We want to make sure that we have our — those guys sitting in the chairs working, because I don't want there to have been something missed because of this hang-up here in Washington," Mr. McDonough said on ABC's "This Week," one of several news show appearances he made Sunday.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Eldridge joined The Washington Times in 1999 and over the next seven years helped lead the paper’s coverage of regional politics and government, Sept. 11, and the sniper attacks of 2002. In 2006, he was named managing editor of the paper’s website. He came to The Times from the Telegraph in North Platte, Neb., where he served as executive ...
- Silver: GOP has 60% chance to retake Senate
- Country Times: As all-timers go, Cash remains The Man (In Black)
- COUNTRY TIMES: Is Taylor's relationship with Nashville coming to a Swift end?
- COUNTRY TIMES: Nashville's collaboration with Doobie Brothers a natural partnership
- COUNTRY TIMES: Dierks Bentley is here to save country music
Latest Blog Entries
- Mainers would rather move to Canada than down South
- McCain: 'Stand your ground' laws may need review
- Sen. Tom Coburn: Holder investigating himself is a 'total conflict of interest'
- CNN poll: IRS, AP and Benghazi haven't dinged Obama's approval rating
- Slain diplomat's mom on Obama's Benghazi comments: 'Bullfeathers'
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- EDITORIAL: The real Lois Lerner exposed in newly released emails
- Star witness in Bob McDonnell corruption trial refutes 'crush' defense
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world