Hagel On The Hotseat

 Former Senator Chuck Hagel is getting roughed up by Republicans at his ongoing confirmation hearing, today..

Sen. John McCain R-Ariz. blasted him thismorning for his strong opposition to the surgethat brought stability into the region, and wanted to know if he would now admit he was wrong. 

“Were you correct of incorrect that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam. Were you correct or incorrect – yes or no?”

Hagel refused to give McCain a direct answer.

Jennifer Rubin is live blogging the hearing at The Washington Post:

Most of Hagel’s supporters were conspicuous in their avoidance of hisrecord, preferring, as Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) did, to ask him toreminiscence about Vietnam or to wax lyrical about his devotion to thetroops. It was a revealing indication of how weak the case forHagel is. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) whipped through a list ofpositions on Iran, Israel and nuclear deterrence, asking him if heagreed with the mainstream views on these issue. She avoided asking himto explain the inconsistencies or when and why he changed his mind. Shedare not ask, it seems.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) methodically tore Hagel’s Global Zeroapart bit by bit, line by line. Hagel tried to insist the initiativedidn’t back unilateral disarmament; Sessions showed otherwise by readingfrom the report.

Hagel is also getting pounded for confidently asserting  that Iran’s government is “elected” and “legitimate”, a dubious claim, at best.

 Marco Rubio  announced in a press release that he plans to oppose Hagel’s nomination.

“After carefully reviewing Senator Hagel’s record on a number of issues,I cannot support his confirmation as our nation’s next Secretary ofDefense.  I oppose his confirmation because of his views on U.S. policytoward Cuba, his past opposition to tough Iran sanctions, hisquestionable comments in the past about U.S. support for Israel, hissupport for direct, bilateral negotiations with North Korea and, mostimportantly, my belief that he will usher in a new era of austeredefense budgets that will severely impede U.S. national security byhampering readiness and radically limiting the global force projectionof our military.