"I respectfully disagree," Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on State of the Union when asked about comments by Obama national security adviser James Jones.
Earlier in the program, Jones, who served four decades in the Marine Corps, said he supported the positions of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen. Earlier this month, Gates informed Congress that the Pentagon was laying the groundwork for the eventual repeal of the policy and Mullen said it was his personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly "would be the right thing to do."
"I tend to take my lead on things like this from my colleague John McCain," Kyl said. Sen. McCain, the former Republican presidential nominee, has suggested that "Dont Ask, Dont Tell" accommodates the desires of a majority of service members while still allowing gays and lesbians to serve in uniform.
As the Senate Republican Whip, Kyl is charged with gauging and building support in the Senate Republican Caucus and counting Republican votes for legislation before the Senate. Asked by Crowley whether there was enough votes in the Senate to repeal the policy, Kyl said "I have no idea."
"You haven't counted noses yet?," Crowley asked Kyl.
"No," he replied, "I assume the process of getting some kind of a report prepared and testimony to Congress will take many months."
Only Congress can repeal "Dont Ask, Dont Tell." In his first State of the Union address last month, President Obama called on Capitol Hill to get rid of the policy which dates from the administration of the last Democratic president in the early 1990s.