“We are simply too philosophically opposed on the issues for me to support his nomination,” Inhofe said in a statement released shortly after a meeting with Hagel on Capitol Hill.
“One of my biggest concerns is avoiding Obama’s sequestration that, as Secretary Panetta has said, would be devastating to our military,” according to the statement.
“However, Senator Hagel’s comments have not demonstrated that same level of concern about the pending defense cuts,” he added.
Inhofe’s flip-flop could have significant consequences to Hagel’s bid to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Sen. Inhofe had voiced strong support for Hagel late last year. The change of mind could be evidence of serious erosion for Hagel, who this week managed to snare the support of Sen. Chuck Schumer.