WASHINGTON (OfficialWire) — Bruised and battered, Chuck Hagel emerged from his grueling confirmation hearing with solid Democratic support for his nomination to be President Barack Obama’s next defense secretary and increasing Republican opposition to a former GOP colleague.
Mathematically, Hagel has the edge as he looks to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as the nation’s 24th Pentagon chief, with Democrats holding a 14-12 advantage on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
That vote, which could come as early as next Thursday, looks increasingly like a straight party-line count as committee member and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said Friday he will oppose the nomination.
“Senator Hagel’s answers before the committee were simply too inconsistent, particularly as they related to Iran and Israel,” said the Missouri lawmaker. “The idea that we can contain a nuclear Iran and his view that we should not have unilateral sanctions are just wrong and are too dangerous for us to try.”
In fact, Hagel corrected his statement about containment of Iran and said all options, including military action, should be on the table to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Read More at OfficialWire . By Donna Cassata.