House Majority Leader Cantor: Hagel 'Wrong Man for the Job'

Tuesday, 08 Jan 2013 11:52 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Image: House Majority Leader Cantor: Hagel 'Wrong Man for the Job'
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va. leaves a Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has called former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel the “wrong man for the job” of Secretary of Defense.

“I am profoundly concerned and disappointed by President Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel,” Cantor said in a statement.

“Recent reporting has made clear that Senator Hagel’s views and inflammatory statements about Israel are well outside the mainstream.’’

Cantor said those views “raise well-founded doubts that he can be trusted to manage the special relationship the United States shares with our greatest Middle East ally.’’

Editor's Note: Should Kerry and Hagel Be Confirmed

Hagel was roundly criticized for once referring to Israeli influence on the United States as "the Jewish lobby.’’

The former senator, a Republican, is facing criticism from members of his own party as well as some Democrats.

Cantor said that "widespread and bipartisan opposition’’ to Hagel and “the president’s willingness to move forward despite these concerns only reinforces the signal that he agrees with Hagel's extreme positions.’’

While Cantor does not get to vote on the confirmation, his opposition “highlights the conservative mobilization against Hagel, who angered many Republicans with his opposition to the Iraq war at the end of the George W. Bush administration,’’ The Hill reports.

Editor's Note: Should Kerry and Hagel Be Confirmed

Hagel is also under scrutiny for his opposition in 1998 to the nomination of philanthropist James Hormel as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg because Hormel was openly gay.



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