Washington (CNN) - Former Sen. Chuck Hagel addressed concerns of his critics on Thursday in the opening statement of his confirmation hearing to become President Barack Obama's next defense secretary.
The Vietnam veteran's statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee said he fully supported Obama administration policies on ending combat operations in Afghanistan next year, preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and ending the ban on gays openly serving in the military.
(CNN) – When former Sen. Chuck Hagel appears before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, don’t expect him to dwell on controversial statements from his past. Instead, allies say, he’ll focus on the present.
He will testify that if confirmed to be the next Secretary of Defense, he will be fully supportive of the president’s policies, including a preference for diplomacy but a willingness to use force, an Obama administration official working on the senator’s confirmation hearing told CNN.
Washington (CNN) – With controversial Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel set to face harsh questioning in his confirmation hearing Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden is defending the administration's new foreign policy team against GOP charges that it will be too reluctant to use force–as will the president.
"Where have they (the critics) been for four years?" responded Biden in a recent exclusive interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger. "The real President Obama has exercised force responsibly as boldly and as bravely as any president in American history. This is the guy who's not backed away. And he's also ended wars that almost every military man out there will tell you we should not be engaged in again."
(CNN) - Cabinet reshuffling is common practice as a president begins a second term, and getting those new nominations confirmed quickly is a priority after the inauguration.
President Barack Obama has new candidates for three top positions pending before the Senate. They include the top jobs at the Pentagon, the State Department and the Treasury.
(CNN) – While being questioned Thursday by colleagues in his Senate confirmation hearing for secretary of state, Democratic Sen. John Kerry also defended another Cabinet nominee, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican.
Hagel, President Obama's pick for Defense Secretary, has been criticized by both sides of the aisle for his positions and past statements.
Washington (CNN) - Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel met at the White House Friday with leaders of several major American Jewish organizations as he tries to answer criticism of his past remarks and stances, several groups confirmed to CNN.
The participants refused to discuss the specifics of the meeting. The groups at the hour-long session included the Anti-Defamation League, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations and the American Jewish Committee.
(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."
(CNN) – Sen. Jim Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has pledged to oppose President Barack Obama's nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel for secretary of the Defense Department after a sit-down with Hagel on Tuesday.
"We had a very cordial meeting today in which we discussed his nomination," the Republican senator from Oklahoma said in a statement. "Unfortunately, as I told him during our meeting today, we are simply too philosophically opposed on the issues for me to support his nomination."
(CNN) – Now that Chuck Hagel has been nominated for defense secretary, the former Republican senator from Nebraska faces what many expect to be an uphill battle for confirmation in the Senate.
Hagel took quite a pounding from some senators and independent groups on both sides of the aisle in the days before last week's announcement, with many of them taking issue with some of Hagel's positions and comments dealing with Iran, Iraq and Israel in particular.
(CNN) – When President Barack Obama nominated former Sen. Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense last week, criticism came in swiftly from several Republicans. But there's one member of the GOP who couldn't be more supportive of Hagel, and that's former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
For starters, Powell said Sunday that Hagel would be an excellent fit for defense secretary because of his military service in Vietnam, where Hagel was wounded twice.