(CNN) - Senator Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, said on Sunday that he isn’t ready to endorse his good friend and Republican presidential nominee John McCain, citing major disagreements over the Iraq war.
“I’ve obviously got some differences with John on the Iraq war, that’s no secret,” Hagel told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday. “Certainly doesn’t put me in Obama or Clinton’s camp, but John and I have some pretty fundamental disagreements on the future of foreign policy.”
Hagel, who has been the one of Republican party’s most outspoken critic of the Iraq war, said he’s not sure what McCain meant when the Arizona senator said on the campaign trail that the United States would stay in Iraq for 100 years if necessary.
“I think we've got to look at the reality that we have before us, and we're in a mess right now… The fact is, all of our senior members of this Cabinet have said that we're not going to sign long-term commitments to defend Iraq,” said Hagel.
The senator from Nebraska had briefly contemplated his own White House run last year, but said recently he is now planning to leave politics. "I don't intend to be in the government next year. I don't anticipate it, and I don't look forward to it," said Hagel.
–CNN's Peter Lanier