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Brooks, Shields Slam Obama Over Hagel

Brooks, Shields Slam Obama Over Hagel

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Columnists David Brooks and Mark Shields slammed the Obama administration for their treatment of outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday’s “PBS NewsHour.” 

Shields, who admitted he was a “sympathizer” of Hagel’s, said “when you’re looking for your fourth secretary of defense in less than six years, which is what this administration is doing, and the previous two, Hagel’s two predecessors, both went public with charges of micromanagement from the White House…I think it’s a comment on a situation that is serious to the president a situation that he is in a bubble that is very very narrow and they’re trying to run everything out of the white house and i think it’s a problem that they had that Gates complained of it, that Panetta complained of it and it didn’t change under Chuck Hagel. And they can fault Chuck Hagel, the president praises him, and then immediately, the White House staff starts sniping that he wasn’t up to the job, he didn’t have the substance he wasn’t proactive, whatever the hell that means.” He added that the criticism of Hagel by the White House staff made the president’s praise of Hagel seem “disingenuous.”

Brooks argued that the position of Defense Secretary had been “severely weakened” by Obama and that Hagel “was not consulted in all sorts of policies concerning the Defense Department. That decisions are made in the White House here and abroad and then he was told about them later and he tried to be a good soldier, and so if you’re going to hire somebody to be a good soldier you can’t really fault them for not being proactive because you’re not giving them anything to do.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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