- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
Hagel fate is tied to political posturing
Liberals embrace this Republican
Congressional aides say that lurking underneath Republican opposition to his positions on Iran, Israel and defense spending is a dislike for how the former senator from Nebraska spoke to staffers and embraced his role as President George W. Bush’s top Republican critic from 2006 to 2008.
“No one on the Republican side likes him,” a Republican congressional aide told The Washington Times. “Many senators are being polite by not blasting him right away, but there is no way he will get their support at confirmation time.”
Mr. Hagel’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled for Thursday.
As his criticisms intensified, so did Mr. Hagel’s popularity with the liberal news media.
But his standing has sunk among the Senate Republican caucus to the point where Republicans predict Mr. Hagel will get few, if any, of their votes at confirmation time. Former Rep. Leon E. Panetta, a Democrat, won unanimous Senate confirmation for defense secretary in 2011.
In recent days, Republican comments have become more caustic.
“I am deeply concerned that in the span of one week, Sen. Hagel’s views on Iran sanctions have changed multiple times based on public reaction and criticism of his record,” Mr. Wicker said. “I appreciate Sen. Hagel’s record of military service, but it is difficult to understand where he stands on many important issues due to constantly changing positions. Saying anything to anyone just to get confirmed is irresponsible and does a disservice to our armed forces and to the entire country.”
Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, describes Mr. Hagel as an “old friend.” Yet he scoffed at Mr. Hagel’s 2007 Senate floor speech calling the just-started Iraq troop surge one of the biggest blunders in U.S. military history.
“That is a bizarre statement,” Mr. McCain told Politico.
Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that he found “troubling and insulting” Mr. Hagel’s reference to backers of Israel as the “Jewish lobby” that intimidates Congress.
Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican, has suggested that Mr. Hagel may lack the temperament to run the world’s biggest office building and manage its 24,000 employees.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- Hillary Clinton all but erased from tragic story of the attack in Benghazi
- Indiana assured that Pakistani firm working to thwart bomb makers
- Doubts on military's sex assault stats as numbers far exceed those for the U.S.
- Political hunt for sex abusers puts military justice in peril, lawyers say
TWT Video Picks
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- FISHER: Shades of Berlin in the South China Sea
- HURT: Wilson and Obama ... 100 years apart, but so alike
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.