Wexler went on to praise Hagel as a “patriot.”
“Sen. Hagel is a patriot,” he said.
“He’s an American patriot. His No. 1 job should he be secretary of defense and should he be confirmed, his No. 1 responsibility, of course, is America’s defense. And his No. 1 job will be to extract the United States from the war in Afghanistan in a successful way.”
“And secondly, he is going to have the awesome responsibility of implementing a set of Pentagon budgets that will no doubt be challenging in a tighter fiscal environment,” Wexler added.
“Those are going to be his primary challenges. In terms of … America’s security relationship with Israel … yes, I have absolute 100 percent confidence that Sen. Hagel, should he be the secretary of defense, will reflect President Obama’s ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.”
On Tuesday, a number of prominent Republican senators, including John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, voiced concern over Hagel’s past positions and comments, noting that he would have to answer for them if he is ultimately nominated by Obama to take over the Pentagon.