Appearing on the Fox News Channel this morning, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said that he will not be able to support the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to become the next defense secretary.
FOX: Joining us now, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a member of the foreign relations committee as well as the intelligence committee. Have you heard anything one way or the other, Senator, that causes to decide your vote on Chuck Hagel?
RUBIO: Well let me begin by saying that Chuck Hagel’s service to our country, particularly in Vietnam is something all of us admire and I don’t think you will find any debate about that but he is being nominated for one of the most important cabinet positions in our country, the secretary of defense. I stated long ago I’ve been deeply disturbed by his previous comments and positions in regards to sanctions on Iran and in regards to direct negotiations with North Korea. Obviously statements he made about Israel. These are not the kind of statements and kind of positions I want to see our secretary of defense have and these are big, big problems. For those reasons I just don’t believe I will be able to support his nomination especially after his testimony in the last hour here has really not said anything that addresses those concerns to my satisfaction.
Hagel’s nomination hearing so far has been a bit of a train wreck. His past positions on Israel and Iran have drawn fire from Democrats and Republicans. Sen. John McCain grilled Hagel for opposing the surge, which led to victory in the Iraq war. That opposition calls Hagel’s defense thinking into question. Even liberal Peter Beinart tweeted during the hearing that Hagel has fared poorly.
hagel’s making biden look rhetorically sure-footed
— Peter Beinart (@PeterBeinart) January 31, 2013