The PJ Tatler

[VIDEO] Republican Sen. Barrasso Says Hagel Nomination Has Serious Problems

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today to discuss the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to become the next defense secretary. Willie Geist interviewed Sen. Barrasso.

GEIST: Senator Barrasso, I want to ask you about your piece in this morning’s Wall Street Journal.  I can reduce it down for everybody. You’re not a big fan of Chuck Hagel, as it turns out. The headline, “Hagel’s Unsettling History.” you have questions about his commitment to Israel, questions about the way he thinks about Iran, questions about his judgment back in 2006 and ’07 in Iraq. You say he has unpredictable judgment. You say, quote, time after time Mr. Hagel has shown himself to be out of the mainstream on important issues related to national security. In each case, later events have shown he was wrong. How do you boil down your own criticism of Chuck Hagel?

SEN. BARRASSO: Well, I think you’ve done a great job summarizing it, Willie. And last night North Korea has come out and announced that they’re looking at additional rocketry to deliver nuclear weapons with the United States as the aim. And Senator Hagel — you know, his judgment on that in his previous statements were wrong there as well. As we look forward to the secretary of defense at a time with reduced budget abilities, even though Chuck Hagel says that the defense budget is bloated, Secretary Panetta who is leaving saying that some of these cuts are going to be devastating to our military. So you want to have people there with sound judgment and really an ability and a very strong way to lead our nation at a very difficult time. So I just have significant reservations about Chuck Hagel…