On this weekend’s “Meet the Press,” Arizona Sen. John McCain conceded that the Republican effort to stop former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel’s bid to become the next secretary of defense is a lost cause.
“Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory played video of McCain back on the presidential campaign trail in 2000 of saying that he would like to have a Hagel in his Cabinet as his defense secretary, prompting McCain to argue that Hagel had shifted since then to be more liberal than President Barack Obama.
“… The Washington Post has described [Hagel] in their editorial as to the left of President Obama … his comments about Israel were atrocious, but he will be confirmed. And let me just point out we delayed [John] Bolton to the point where he never got a vote. The word was no nomination without information. They tried to filibuster Justice [Samuel] Alito. And the worst thing I have ever seen in my life was the crucifixion of John Tower, where they delayed for three months and destroyed a good and decent man.” (RELATED: Colin Powell refuses to defend Hagel’s comments on Israel)
McCain said that he expected a vote on Hagel when Senate reconvenes next week, but made it clear he would not be supporting him.
“I understand the White House wanted a vote,” he said. “They got a vote, and we will have a vote when we get back, and I am confident that Sen. Hagel will probably have the votes necessary to be confirmed as the secretary of defense. We have an obligation of advice and consent. I don’t intend to give those up when other senators continue to have reasonable questions — and I mean reasonable.”
“I don’t believe he is qualified, but I don’t believe we should hold up his nomination any further. I think it is a reasonable amount of time to have questions answered,” McCain added. “Not two days worth.”