Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Wednesday he intends to oppose the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense. He feels the country “can and should do better” than the former Nebraska senator.
In an op-ed in USA Today, Tea Party stalwart Cruz wrote that though Hagel “is a war hero and public official who has served America honorably,” his views on foreign and defense issues are “out of the mainstream.”
“He is not a good fit for secretary of Defense,” Cruz continued. “I expect to oppose his nomination for several reasons.”
He zeroed in on Hagel’s controversial stance on Israel:
His record on Israel strongly suggests that he views Israel not as our friend but as a nuisance. The U.S.-Israeli alliance is critical to our national security, but Hagel has been far too willing to undermine that alliance. He was one of only four senators who refused to sign a letter urging the president to express solidarity with Israel and condemn the Palestinian campaign of violence. And he has stated that he believes Israel has ‘chained down’ the Palestinians.
Cruz then expressed concern over “Hagel’s willingness to accept rogue states as legitimate players on the international stage on par with our friends.”
The Texas senator, who has been a staunch opponent of international law in his legal career before running for the Senate, noted that he was troubled by “Hagel’s willingness to subject the United States to the whims of international organizations” by supporting treaties such as the the Law of the Sea Treaty that “would undermine our sovereignty and require American businesses to pay global royalties for oil and gas development.”