New ads from anti-Hagel group sound alarm bells
January 22nd, 2013
08:45 PM ET
1 year ago

New ads from anti-Hagel group sound alarm bells

(CNN) – Groups opposing President Barack Obama's pick for defense secretary, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, released new television ads Tuesday with dire warnings of what they think could happen should Hagel be confirmed.

The first spot, from Americans for a Strong Defense, uses themes that mimic a movie trailer for a spy/action thriller. The 30-second spot says "we live in a dangerous world" and points to threats from Iran, North Korea, and "even Russia."

"But Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense wants America to back down," the narrator continues. "An end to our nuclear program. Devastating defense cuts. A weaker country."

The narrator then urges viewers to call their senator and vote against Hagel's confirmation "before it's too late."

A release from Americans for a Strong Defense states the ad will run on broadcast and cable networks and targets Sens. Mike Bennet and Mark Udall in Colorado, Sen. Mark Begich in Alaska, Sen. Mark Pryor Arkansas, Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina.

Another group, the American Future Fund, also revealed a new spot targeting Hagel's record in the Senate, raising ethical questions around trips he accepted from lobbyists and his role on the board of Chevron, which receives millions in contracts from the Pentagon.

The American Future Fund and its political action sister group spent millions against President Barack Obama and on races for the U.S. House and Senate last year. They spent over $25 million in independent expenditures on the 2012 election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money spent in politics.

Sources close to the group said Tuesday they would spend about $500,000 to air the new ad on CNN and Fox News Channel.

Before being nominated, Hagel has faced opposition from both sides of the aisle for previous statements and positions, including his opposition to unilateral sanctions against Iran and a decision to not sign a letter in support of Israel while he was senator.

Seeking to set the record straight, Hagel said in an interview with the Lincoln Journal Star that critics have "completely distorted" his positions and he didn't "sign on to certain resolutions and letters because they were counterproductive and didn't solve a problem."

Hagel also explained why he opposed unilateral sanctions against Iran. "I have not supported unilateral sanctions because when it is us alone, they don't work and they just isolate the United States."

He got a boost in support last week when two key Jewish Democratic senators vowed to support him, saying their private conversations with Hagel gave them the clarification on his statements they needed to give him their backing.

His hearings are set to begin January 31.

- CNN's Kevin Bohn and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Chuck Hagel • Department of Defense • Senate
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    @Donna

    sonny chapman
    I'd love to know what is the combined military combat experience of those PAYING for the ad ?
    --–

    I didn't know that only those with military combat experience were allowed to have an opinion and express it. If that is the case then Obama needs to shut up.
    **********************************
    What's your experience, then? Based on your logic, perhaps you need to zip it.

    January 22, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. chill

    Well if the America Future Fund is opposed to Hagel, he must be pretty darn good. Last thing we need is that bunch of neo-con chicken hawks shoving us into another war. The guy who is really setting the policy is the President, and despite the millions upon millions of dollars spent by these bozos, we relected him. I'm glad they are doing their part to revive the advertising economy, but they aren't going to get people all reved up over a non0issue.

    January 22, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    Americans for a Strong Defense

    Just the name alone makes me laugh. I guess they forgot about 9/11.

    All republicans do is speak of fear. Fear the president, fear immigrants, fear the debt, fear losing guns, fear Hagel, fear, fear, fear. The only thing I fear is ever having them in the White House again. If we keep them out, our worst fears will be over permanently.

    January 22, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. JohnWV

    Ingenious distribution of enormous amounts of Jewish money has corrupted our electoral system and successfully involved us in continuing wars against our interests. Chuck Hagel is one of the few who has resisted. The Government of the United States must again serve American interests, not Israel's relentless pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and apartheid supremacist empire in, and beyond, the Mideast.

    January 22, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    chill wrote:

    Well if the America Future Fund is opposed to Hagel, he must be pretty darn good. Last thing we need is that bunch of neo-con chicken hawks shoving us into another war. The guy who is really setting the policy is the President, and despite the millions upon millions of dollars spent by these bozos, we relected him. .....
    ----------
    No. Republicans think that it is best for the Dep't of Defense to run itself. They've campaigned on the practice for years. Bush-43 openly admitted to allowing his generals make military decisions, which he would only merely approve.

    In other words, they are making the classic mistake when it comes to judging the actions of others. That being, putting onself in the other person's position. It is human nature to judge another's actions and words by comparing to what you would have said and done in the same situation. That's wrong. That is not the correct way to "walk a mile in someone else's shoes."

    But, that incorrect assumption is exactly what the ad implies. That another party would or should behave as you would behave in that scenario. Notice the arrogance that assumes that your behavior is the only correct path.

    January 22, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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