Deb Fischer of Nebraska, the state Chuck Hagel represented for many years, explains her opposition to Hagel as defense secretary:
I appreciate Chuck Hagel's service, both as an infantryman in Vietnam and as a United States senator representing Nebraska. However, after meeting with him privately and witnessing his confusing and contradictory testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, I cannot support his nomination.Nebraskans are familiar with some of Sen. Hagel's controversial views, ranging from his curious opposition to sanctions against Iran to his inconsistent views toward Hezbollah and Hamas — terrorist organizations responsible for violence across the Middle East. Sen. Hagel has changed these positions and argued before the committee that he now supports U.S. efforts to actively prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities.While some have voiced concern that he altered long-held views, I am more troubled by Hagel's insistence on positions that history has proven wrong.During our one-on-one meeting, I asked Sen. Hagel if, in hindsight, he would have voted differently regarding unilateral sanctions on Iran. Despite the pressure these sanctions have exerted on the Iranian regime, Sen. Hagel stood by his lonely votes. Similarly, when pressed by Sen. John McCain about his opposition to the surge of troops in Iraq, which helped to turn around an unsuccessful war, Sen. Hagel refused to acknowledge his incorrect judgment.I understand no one has all the answers or is correct 100 percent of the time. But as an elected official, I also believe leadership requires the humility to admit being wrong.