First on CNN: Santorum to oppose Hagel nomination
January 9th, 2013
11:31 AM ET
1 year 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. Expat American

    Santorum is in no position to dictate any policy or opposition to anything. In other words, who cares. Funny how Republicans pretend they care about Israel while spewing their hatred towards women and minorities at home.

    January 9, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. oneWayfarer

    The BEST ENDORSEMENT of Hagel I have heard so far.

    January 9, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. sanctimonious santorum

    A former Senator who was drummed out of office because he was living in another state and was using Pennsylvania's home schooling money for his numerous children doesn't pass muster here. He never served in any US Armed Forces, and Hagel has, being in tune with the boots on the ground. These same brave men and women were used by the chicken-hawks as cannon fodder, then discarded in VA hospitals full of vermin and filth. Santorum is a joke and needs to just shut up. He is as worthless as Palin.

    January 9, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. PA voter

    We voted him out. He is just like Palin, always spouting nonsense.

    January 9, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    A song ran through my head as soon as I read the headline: "The freaks come out at night, the freaks come out at night!".

    January 9, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Larry in Houston

    lol – amazing – this would be like an endorsement for hagel cnn . lol – I feel sorry for obama in a way – I mean, it doesn't matter what he does, every republican is against everything he says or does, or wants to do, or even suggests. Obama has gone out of his way in many ways, not only putting republicans on his team – I mean he's even asked for input from republicans in his administration, and the congress constantly wants to do battle with him, no wonder D.C. is so toxic, and there's no bi-partisan ship.

    January 9, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Wake up People!

    Another inconsequential RWNJ. That seals the deal for me. McCain, Graham, and now Crazy Ricky coming out against one of their own. I'm all for Hagel!!
    Anything any of these idiots are against, is alright in my book! I never, ever thought I could ever support a repub........

    January 9, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Robert Jay

    Lets see? Here si a guy who could not display leadership qualities that were nbetter than Mitt Romney but now knows more than the American people (once again) and more than the President whom Mitt Romney couldn't win over – Why can't these people just go quietly ibto the night when the stupidity is proven!

    January 9, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Santorum just wants his name back in the news cycle. When he said that he was running for POTUS to bring religious values to the government, he turned a lot of people off. People on the right complain about communism but they just do not see that combining religion and government is the ultimate control over populations. Law breaking becomes a sin, and it provides an atmosphere in which the extreme become the powerful.

    January 9, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Other than Birthers and anti women's rights groups, does anyone else really care about what Rick thinks?

    January 9, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. rs

    So all of the anti-counrty GOP are going to fall on this sword, eh?

    This is good news. The more they obstruct the business of American with nonsense like this the less popular they become.

    How DID the GOP get to be so sick?

    January 9, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Randy, San Francisco

    Santorum represents what is wrong with the GOP/Tea Party, too conservative, extreme, and out of touch with a majority of Americans. He preaches only to the base: white, rural, predominantly male, and aging.

    January 9, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. California Gary

    Is there anyone in America that still listens to anything this man says?

    January 9, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  14. Tampa Tim

    What a snob. Next he will oppose education.

    January 9, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. twophad

    Well, THAT tells you Hagel's a good choice!

    January 9, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. Yonni

    In what capacity? he was rejected even before Mitt. I am convinced that Chuck Hagel is the right person for the job oneof the reason is that his nomination is being opposed by people like Santorum. .

    January 9, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Ken

    Last time I checked Santorum didn't have a vote in the US Senate. He needs to crawl back under a rock and leave politics to adults.

    January 9, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Laverne

    Does Santorum still have voting power? I don't think so, who cares what this loser oppose, he is just trying to keep himself relevant in hopes of a 2016 run. He was a loser in 2012 and will be in 2016, just ask Mitt Romney and John McCain how it works!!

    January 9, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. chill

    What a shock! Someone want to remind Santorum he's not still in the Senate and nobody cares.

    January 9, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. sjlucas

    Since when do DEFEATED Senators get a vote on confirmation? Rick, we're not ready for 2016 yet (and we'll never be ready for you). Go find an honest job.

    January 9, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    Rick Santorum our hero, He quit the primary before Pennsylvania election (he knew he will lose his home state to Romney) and destroyed Mitt Romney’s dream
    Obama owe big thanks Rick Santorum

    January 9, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Critical Thinker

    Santorum should be quiet, stay home, and take care of Bella whom he used as a campaign prop.

    January 9, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Larry in Houston

    @ Tampa Tim – Don't give him Any of Perry's Ideas.

    January 9, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Jeffro211

    Another chicken hawk who has sacrificed nothing for his country calling out a man who fought among men who died for their country. Santorum is nothing but a self serving piece of "Christian" garbage.

    January 9, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. ST

    These people keep on coming back like a bad smell. Can't Santorum learn from Romney whose name was on ballot on General Election? He has disappeared. Santorum should go and take care of his family. He has nothing to offer to the nation as he proved himself during the GOP primaries.

    January 9, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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