The Corner

Coburn: Hagel’s Problem, ‘Doesn’t Have Confidence of Vast Majority of Senate’


Acknowledging that secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel is likely to be confirmed by the Senate this week, Tom Coburn argued that the most significant problem with Hagel’s service is that “he doesn’t have the confidence of the vast majority of the Senate.” “In modern times,” Coburn explained, “we haven’t had one defense secretary who’s had more than three votes against him, and you’re going to have 40 votes against him, or 35 votes, and that sends a signal to our allies as well as our foes which limits his ability to carry out his job.” 

GOP senators who had previously acted to delay a vote on Hagel’s confirmation –including John McCain and Lindsey Graham — are now indicating they are ready to proceed. McCain told CNN’s Candy Crowley this morning that, though he doesn’t believe Hagel is qualified to serve as defense secretary, he deserves an up-or-down vote and that the president deserves wide latitude in selecting the members of his cabinet. 

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