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): 1) “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.” 2) “I can tell you there would be very little Republican support for his nomination, at the end of the day, very few votes.”

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.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): “ I cannot vote for Chuck Hagel…simply because of some of the positions he’s taken and statements he’s [made]. … He does not have the experience to manage a very large organization like the Pentagon.”

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR): “Though his record on Iraq alone should disqualify Mr. Hagel from leading our troops in a time of war, his views on current issues are no less alarming and show he has not learned from his errors. Unlike the current secretary of defense, Mr. Hagel seems willing to accept devastating cuts to defense spending, calling the U.S. military ‘bloated’ and in need of being ‘pared down.’… While Mr. Obama has every right to choose his secretary of defense, I urge him not to nominate Mr. Hagel. If he is nominated, I urge the Senate not to confirm him.”

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.”