New anti-Hagel ad aimed at Senate Dems running in ’14

W. James Antle III | Managing Editor

The conservative group Americans for a Strong Defense announced an advertising campaign in five states Tuesday opposing the nomination of former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.

The ads are set of run on cable and broadcast networks in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, and North Carolina. Each of those states has a Democratic senator up for re-election in 2014. All but Colorado, a swing state, voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

“While Americans for a Strong Defense lauds Senator Hagel’s service to our nation,” the group said in a statement, “we will make the case to voters and elected officials that Hagel’s record is far out of the mainstream and his confirmation as Secretary of Defense would send a dangerous message to our adversaries and weaken our ability to defend ourselves.”

The narrator in the ad states that America faces national security threats from Iran, North Korea, and Russia. “But Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense wants America to back down,” the spot warns. “An end to our nuclear program.  Devastating defense cuts.  A weaker country.”

Americans for a Strong Defense was formed to oppose Hagel’s nomination. Its board includes Brian Hook, a former Romney foreign policy adviser and State Department official under President George W. Bush; Mauricio Claver-Carone of Cuba Democracy Advocates; and Romney campaign veteran Danny Diaz.

New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer recently came out in support of Hagel, a move some observers believe significantly increases the likelihood of his confirmation. Senate hearings are set to begin January 31.

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