First on CNN: Santorum to oppose Hagel nomination
January 9th, 2013
11:31 AM ET
2 years ago

First on CNN: Santorum to oppose Hagel nomination

Washington (CNN) – Rick Santorum will launch a drive against the nomination of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary, CNN has learned.

Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania and 2012 GOP presidential candidate, Wednesday will announce his opposition to President Barack Obama's Monday announcement that he's nominating Hagel to succeed retiring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, according to John Brabender, a top political adviser to Santorum.

And Brabender tells CNN that Patriot Voices, the pro-Santorum run 501(c)4 advocacy group, will go up with online ads opposing the nomination.

Santorum, who served with Hagel in the Senate ten years and who was a member of the Armed Services Committee, opposes the nomination because of Hagel's positions on Iran and Israel, according to Brabender.

Hagel has drawn criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for his perceived lack of support for Israel. The former senator from Nebraska pushed back earlier this week, telling the Lincoln Journal Star that there is "not one shred of evidence that I'm anti-Israeli, not one (Senate) vote that matters that hurt Israel."

Republicans are also critical of Hagel for opposition to the 2007 surge of U.S. forces in the war in Iraq, and of his opposition to unilateral sanctions against Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

"I have not supported unilateral sanctions because when it is us alone, they don't work and they just isolate the United States," Hagel has said.

Santorum, once a long shot in the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination, came out on top in the Iowa caucuses and battled eventual nominee Mitt Romney deep into the primary calendar before suspending his bid. Santorum is seriously considering another run for the White House in 2016.

"I'm open to that possibility," said Santorum when asked on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" in November about another run for the White House.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: Chuck Hagel • Department of Defense • Rick Santorum • Senate
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. sammieb51

    And his opinion matters because Why Again?

    January 9, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Aries M

    Santorum quit the 2012 presidential race because his daughter was sick - Wasn't that enough for him to consider that his god is not on his side at all?

    January 9, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. GuestAgain

    How are those lower taxes working for you democrats?? I guess BO cant be trusted either.

    January 9, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Vic

    Who cares what he thinks? He, like Palin, has opinions that don't matter..go away!

    January 9, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    That won't mean much, as he is no longer in the Senate.

    January 9, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Joi Gibson

    Another one. Give it a rest already. It's the United States Secretary of Defense, not Israeli Secretary of Defense. You warmongers and presidential wannabes are tiresome. You can support war and its costs on a credit card but would cut the American people at the knees when it comes to their safety nets. What a sad lot you folks are.

    January 9, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. PJ

    Santorum- still no real job, still living off misled donors, still irrelevant.

    January 9, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. plain&simple

    Noise,noise and more noise! Just because you can talk and have an opinion doesn't mean a damn thing. These wannabes are like a car wreck,people stop to look but why?

    January 9, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Not relevant.

    January 9, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. The Elephant in the Room

    In college we had a term . . . professional student. It was not a compliment. Santorum is a professional Tea Party pundit. Like Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Allan West, etc. All of these people, like Santorum should be recognized as irrelevant.

    January 9, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    We have spent more money over the past decade rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan than we have spent rebuilding our own roads, rails, and bridges. Now this guy wants to rebuild Libya, Egypt, Iran, Syria and the rest of the Middle East?

    January 9, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    GuestAgain wrote:

    How are those lower taxes working for you democrats?? I guess BO cant be trusted either.
    -----------
    The facts remain. The middle class is paying lower federal effective taxes under Barack Obama than what they would have paid under Romney. Hint, that's why he won. All of that free stuff. Remember?

    January 9, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Mark

    Well, let's see, I am just an average citizen like Rick Santorum (now) and I will go on record as supporting the Hagel nomination. Now come on national news media, interview me about why I am supporting this nomination.

    January 9, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. John J

    Rick who???!!! I thought his 15 minutes were over. Who cares??!!!!

    January 9, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. Jack Fact

    I'll be holding a press conference later today to announce my opinion that any potential donors to a Santorum candidacy are wasting their money.

    January 9, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Woman In California

    Another loser from the Sheet Party is opposing a good man who served his country instead of his wallet.

    Any other stories of interest?

    January 9, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
1 2