Former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination to head the Pentagon became a fait accompli last week when several GOP senators announced that they would join all of the Democrats in voting to confirm him. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is not among their number and strongly opposes Hagel. Today he released the following statement.
Chuck Hagel will be confirmed because Senate Democrats stood united behind President Obama’s nomination of the most controversial Secretary of Defense in modern times. No one has ever been confirmed to the position with more than 11 “no” votes, until today when a record number of senators voted against his nomination.
A great many of us have been concerned about Hagel’s longstanding record of antagonism towards Israel and unwillingness to stand vigorously against Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons. I hope those concerns are proven wrong.
I fervently hope that this confirmation does not embolden Iran to accelerate their nuclear weapons development; I fervently hope that this confirmation does not undermine our vital alliance with Israel.
Chuck Hagel can prove his critics wrong by standing by his confirmation commitments. He has an enormous task ahead of him, and running the Defense Department will require principled leadership on the world’s stage. I wish Secretary Hagel success in his new role and am committed to working with him to keep America safe and strong.
Chuck Hagel delivered one of the worst confirmation hearing performances in memory. Along the path of his nomination, he picked up endorsements from the Iranian mullahs and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. None of that was enough to derail his path to lead the US military.