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January 7th, 2013
09:08 PM ET

Saving Sgt. Chuck Hagel: Defense Secretary nominee vows to fight "falsehoods and distortions"

President Barack Obama announced Monday his nomination for the man who would head the Pentagon in his second term, former Senator Chuck Hagel. Obama is raring for a for a fight over his Defense Secretary nominee because of Hagel's past comments.

There's opposition from both sides of the aisle to a 'Secretary Hagel.'

Choice in Hagel sparks mixed reactions

In an interview for C-SPAN's Newsmakers, top Democrat New York Rep. Eliot Engel expressed concerns over Hagel's "Jewish lobby" comments.

"I think that remark is troublesome, it's problematic. It shows at the very best a lack of sensitivity, at the very worst perhaps a prejudice. And I'm concerned about it, I'm concerned about the nomination," Engel said. "If I were doing the appointing, I would not appoint Chuck Hagel."

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina labeled the former senator a "controversial" choice by Obama and didn't rule out staging a filibuster to prevent a vote on Hagel's nomination.

Log Cabin GOP: Hagel not right pick

"Hagel, if confirmed to be secretary of defense, would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense towards the state of Israel in our nation's history," Graham told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

OutFront tonight: David Frum, former senior adviser to George W. Bush and Doug Wilson, former Pentagon Press Secretary.


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