Missouri senator Roy Blunt, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee that oversaw former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing yesterday, announced this morning that he plans to vote against Hagel’s confirmation.
“I want to give the president the benefit of the doubt in who he can bring to his cabinet with him,” he told NBC’s Chuck Todd, “but things like Senator Hagel’s comments on containment, I think he really does believe, based on his statements, yesterday, even though he backed away from them later, that we could contain a nuclear Iran.”
Challenged by New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte about his assertion, in a 2007 speech, that “the strategy of containment remains relevant today” with regard to Iran, Hagel stumbled. “I don’t have the speech in front of me,” he said. “I think there was more to it.”
Blunt added that, though he will register a “no” vote against Hagel, he is unlikely to back a filibuster of the nomination.