Republican lawmakers voiced staunch opposition Sunday to their former colleague Chuck Hagel, who is expected to be nominated next week to be President Barack Obama’s next secretary of defense.
On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Hagel was a “controversial” choice by Obama. Graham didn’t rule out staging a filibuster to prevent a vote on Hagel’s nomination.
"Hagel, if confirmed to be secretary of defense, would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense towards the state of Israel in our nation’s history," Graham told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican freshman from Texas elected with strong backing from the tea party, said on “Fox News Sunday” that it was “very difficult to imagine a circumstance in which I could support (Hagel’s) confirmation.”
"It’s interesting, the president seems bound and determined to proceed down this path despite the fact that Hagel’s record is very, very troubling on the nation of Israel," Cruz said. "He has not been a friend to Israel. And in my view the United States should stand unshakably with Israel."
In addition to his apparent antagonism toward Israel, which stems mostly from a comment he made in 2007, it seems that Hagel is also insufficiently hawkish with regard to Iran … which also counts against him when it comes to standing with Israel.
The only nominee for Secretary of Defense the GOP will accept is Benjamin Netanyahu.