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'What They're Saying about Chuck Hagel'

3:12 PM, Dec 28, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Alan Dershowitz“Were Chuck Hagel to be nominated as secretary of defense, the Iranian mullahs would interpret President Obama’s decision as a signal that the military option was now, effectively, off the table. It would encourage them to proceed with their development of nuclear weapons without fear of an attack from the United States. It would tell them that if they can endure the pain of sanctions and continue the charade of negotiations, they will ultimately be allowed to win the prize of a deliverable nuclear bomb.

Former DNC Comms Director Karen Finney: MSNBC contributor Karen Finney criticized the potential nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to secretary of defense, calling the lack of diversity in nominating Hagel and Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.) to key cabinet positions “not a smart strategic decision.”

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch: “I believe it would be a terrible appointment,” he said, “and so do apparently most of the Jewish leaders who have expressed themselves.”

What Republicans Are Saying

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): [H]e would actively oppose Mr. Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, should President Barack Obama nominate him to the top Pentagon job. Mr. Cornyn predicted many members of his caucus would join him in moving to block Mr. Hagel.  “Some of Sen. Hagel’s positions would either render America weaker or create ambiguity in regard to our role in maintaining security and peace,” Sen. Cornyn said. “He has taken positions I think are outside the mainstream and are atypical, even of this administration.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): The office of Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) is threatening to place a hold on former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, should he be nominated for the post of Secretary of Defense.  In a statement to the Washington Free Beacon, Rubio communications director Alex Conant said, “Promoting democracy in Latin America is a priority for Sen. Rubio, and he’s put holds on other administration nominees over the issue. If President Obama were to nominate Sen. Hagel for a cabinet position, I’m sure we would have questions about Cuba positions.”

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC): "I like Chuck, but his positions ... are really out of the mainstream and well to the left of the president. I think it would be a challenging nomination."

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH): “While he has not yet been nominated, I am concerned about his prior positions with regard to Israel and Iran,” she said. “If he is nominated to serve as Secretary of Defense, I intend to vigorously question him on those prior positions.”

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): John McCain of Arizona said he “strongly disagree[s]" with Hagel's comments on the "Jewish lobby."  “I know of no ‘Jewish lobby,’” McCain said. “I know that there’s strong support for Israel here. I know of no ‘Jewish lobby.’ I hope he would identify who that is.”

The Log Cabin Republicans"Chuck Hagel: Wrong on gay rights. Wrong on Iran. Wrong on Israel," the ad continues. "Tell President Obama that Chuck Hagel is wrong for Defense Secretary."

What The Opinion Leaders Are Saying

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