Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in a statement:
“I will not support Chuck Hagel’s nomination to the Department of Defense. His record and past statements, particularly with respect to rogue nations like Iran, are extremely concerning to me,”
“His opposition to Iranian sanctions and support for direct, unconditional talks with its leaders is both at odds with current U.S. policy and a threat to global security. To make matters worse, he has called for direct negotiations with Hamas.
As Iran becomes increasingly hostile and gains influence in the region, the worst possible message we could send to our friend Israel and the rest of our allies in the Middle East is Chuck Hagel.”On CBS's Face the Nation Lindsey Grahm (R-SC) Said
“Chuck 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. Adding that he doesn't consider Hagel a Republican, He has long severed his ties with the Republican Party. This is an in your face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel. I don’t know what his management experience is regarding the Pentagon, little, if any, so I think it’s an incredibly controversial choice.”Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Fox News Sunday
“If Hagel is nominated, it is very difficult to imagine the circumstance in which I could support his confirmation. The job of the secretary of defense is to be a serious credible strength and deterrent and, unfortunately, I think weakness in a secretary of defense invites conflict, because bullies don’t respect weakness.”Florida's Marco Rubio has said he will object to Hagel because Hagel has stated it's time create relations with Cuba.
On the other side of the aisle there has been silence. Sure there has been off the record statements Politico quoted a Senate Democratic aide: “It is a strange signal for the White House to send that they are willing to fight for Hagel but not Rice. Democrats are not currently unified behind Hagel, and it will take some real work by the administration to get them there, if it’s even possible.”
NBC's Chuck Todd has said there are up to ten Democrats who will vote against Hagel
But there is nothing public coming from Democratic Party senators. Senator Menendez (D-NJ) who sponsored a bill imposing sanctions on Iran has been totally silent about the man who opposes those sanctions. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has refused to take a stand.
In the biggest act of hypocrisy, the National Jewish Democratic Council, who warned about Sen. Hagel's lousy record on Israel in 2007. (They took the page down when Obama began to express interest in Hagel for his administration...but I saved it here)now supports the nomination. Today they said:
"President Barack Obama's unprecedented pro-Israel credentials are unquestionable, and setting policy starts and stops with the president. While we have expressed concerns in the past, we trust that when confirmed, former Senator Chuck Hagel will follow the President's lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel -- on strategic cooperation, missile defense programs, and leading the world against Iran's nuclear program."That's the source of the problem...Chuck Hagel agrees with the presidents unrivaled lack of support of Israel. He has publicly made anti-Israel and Antisemitic statements.
There is no doubt that Hagel will have little support in the GOP as for the Democrats--we are about to see how strong they are in their support of Israel and their objection toward terrorism.