August 23rd, 2010
01:21 PM ET
12 years ago

Republican Hagel backs Sestak in PA Senate race

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Joe Sestak is picking up the endorsement of former Sen. Chuck Hagel."]Washington (CNN) – Rep. Joe Sestak, the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee, is picking up an endorsement from an unlikely source: a former Republican senator from the state of Nebraska.

Chuck Hagel, a former two-term Republican senator, will announce his endorsement of Sestak on Tuesday, Sestak spokesman Jonathon Dworkin confirmed to CNN.

Hagel, who did not seek reelection in 2008 and was rumored to be a candidate for several top White House jobs after choosing not to seek the Republican presidential nomination, will announce his endorsement at two events scheduled for Tuesday in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

At Tuesday's events, Hagel is expected to "speak about Joe's independence and focus on doing what's right not for Wall Street or Washington special interests but for Pennsylvania's working families," the Sestak campaign said in a statement.

Both Hagel and Sestak served in the military. Hagel was twice wounded in Vietnam, and Sestak, a three-star Admiral, is the highest-ranking military officer ever elected to Congress.

Hagel is not the first moderate to endorse Sestak. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed the Pennsylvania congressman earlier this month.

Sestak and his Republican opponent Pat Toomey are locked in a tight battle for the Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Arlen Specter. Sestak topped Specter in the Democratic primary.

Filed under: 2010 • Chuck Hagel • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. REG in AZ

    There is an obvious very aggressive strategy being followed to dominate websites and to present everywhere an abundance of drastically slanted Republican dogma. Every website and media source currently displays these expansive efforts. The intent, much of it formally organized and some not, is apparent in intending to manipulate public opinion by using the belligerent Karl Rove tactic to say it boldly, say it often, say it strongly and don’t stop saying it hoping that it will at least block any countering offerings and could even saturate people’s thinking. Should the public not recognize and resist the onslaught aimed to capture their thinking, their ultimate decisions may just not be their own but rather the result of a constant barrage of subterfuge and be the equivalent of a brainwashing. It isn’t being done just by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Michael Steele, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl and the others who are politically active but there is also an army of staff and volunteers and zealous supporters taking up the cause.

    Never before has there ever been as distasteful and aggressive an effort to slander, fault and discredit a standing president. These people are crude and without conscience or hesitation in being totally dishonest. They use bazaar and ridiculous accusations intended to shock and to appeal to people’s wild fears and prejudices. The Republican Party has literally sunk to being devious, vicious and deceitful, without any class or conscience, and yet there are some who still want them to govern. John Dean, a self-declared Goldwater conservative, got it right in his book “Broken Government” when he said that the Republican Party with their current mentality is really incapable of responsibly governing. All of politics leaves much to be desired but the Republicans have taken it to its lowest level ever.

    The public really needs to be skeptical and to then take a close look at the deception being attempted, as it is very apparent and completely disturbing. Whatever anyone’s ultimate decision is, it should literally be their own, preferably being rational and objective after reasonable personal discernment but in any case completely their own. Just to question the reasonableness of the information, the forced emotion in the appeals and the all too obvious slanting of the positions, besides observing the persistent volume, should be enough to create real skepticism. The offensive insult of being taken for granted in their even offering that low class subterfuge should be enough to alienate most people; to accept it means we deserve no better.

    August 23, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    We need republicas like Sen. Hagel in Congress. Maybe he can speak some sense into his republican colleagues.

    August 23, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. Donald

    Thats a seat repubs can count not winning

    August 23, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. scott

    sestek needed this it wil be a big help 2 him

    August 23, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. DIANA

    Now that's how it's supposed to be – bi partisan. Too bad everyone else doesn't follow ssit – both Democrat and Republican.

    The sad part is – he's going to lose his Republican card for this and they're going to shred him apart.

    August 23, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Brian in MD

    Regardless of how you feel about Laura's husband, Michelle should be taking notes on how to be a class act.

    August 23, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. The Other Michael in Houston

    Well lookie here, there are some good politicians left.

    August 23, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. We voted for this?

    The White House illegally offered Sestak a job. Why have news agencies stopped reporting this.

    Hopefully PA is smart enough NOT TO VOTE for Sestak. Then again, they did have Murtha and Spectar.

    August 23, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. TangledThorns

    Hagel is a RINO so no surprise.

    August 23, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. La Piovra

    Chuck Hagel was one of the last real Republicans to serve in Congress- the kind of guy, half a century back, who would have paid his bills, mowed his lawn, stood by his family, voted for Eisenhower, and been open to reason. The GOTea not only doesn't make them any more, it exterminates them or drives them into exile whenever it discovers them. Chuck Hagel and Charlie Crist have not abandoned their party; their party has run away from them in a rightward rush over Niagara Falls without a barrel. If it's Eisenhower's party you're hankering for, folks, the GOTea ain't it. Consider backing an independent; consider starting a third party that has its marbles.

    August 23, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. PA voter

    I live in Pennsylvania. Sometimes I vote for Democrats and sometimes for Republicans. Joe Sestak is first candidate in many many years, for whom I have no doubts to vote for. If he is elected to Senate once again in many years I will be proud of my senator, unlike the other spineless and "Yes" man representation we have right now.

    August 23, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. GL

    Both Hagel and Sestak served in the military. Hagel was twice wounded in Vietnam, and Sestak, a three-star Admiral, is the highest-ranking military officer ever elected to Congress.

    Hagel is not the first moderate to endorse Sestak. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed the Pennsylvania congressman earlier this month.

    Looking good for Sestak!

    August 23, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. gt

    joe is sinkling like the titanic,,,,,and this old senator is old news and bitter....

    August 23, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. T

    This guy's getting some pretty impressive endorsements. First Bloomberg and now Hagel.

    August 23, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Dan, TX

    Hurray for the third party! There are some who say we need a third party. What we need is to elect people from both parties who want to solve problems and put the liberal vs. conservative crap aside. We have problems to solve. Republicans and Democrats champion two sides of the same coin. Eliminate either side and the coin is worthless. We need compromise. Obama is being attacked by liberals and conservatives. That tells me he is trying to solve problems and is not beholden to special interests. Sestek will do the same.

    August 23, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. Jilli

    Toomey is just too far out there. I understand the anger at the economic conditions, but folks, vote with your head, not your emotions. this is a pivotal time for our country and the choice is to PROgress or REgress.

    The "throw all the bums out" mantra is a stupid way to approach our futures. Do your research.

    August 23, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Note to Howard Dean: Wake up're never going ot be POTUS.

    August 23, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. BeverlyNC

    I wish more Americans will open their eyes like Chuck Hagel has and see that it is the Democrats who are working hard for the PEOPLE. Sestak is one of many Democrats in Congress who has stood up and fought for what is best for the People out of work and for the economic recovery of America,.

    Republicans only "care about winning" as RNC Chair Michael Steele said. They have done NOTHING fo help working America or to help our nation recover. They made a statement the day after President Obama took office that they "wanted America to fail" as if they had not already brought it to its knees already. Republicans have voted NO on every piece of legislation regardless of who it hurt.

    No we are not in full recovery yet but it took 8 years to make the mess and it will take more than 18 months to fix it. We'd be farther recovered if Republicans had bothered to participate and work with Democrats on solutions – but they just sat on the sidelines doing no work, criticizing everything, spewing hate, fear, and reigniting ugly racism.

    Democrrats created solutions, reached out and helped America, and made every effort to economically bring back our country. At least they DID something and CARED about the People and what real Americans were facing. Remember that when you vote in November.

    August 23, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Richard Komi

    Chuck is a good Republican who sees things the righty way. He was one the few Republicans who endorsed Obama and was against the war in Iraq. When Chuck endoreses some one I have good reason to vote for such a person.

    August 23, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. ETM

    Kudos to Hagel. At least there is one Republican who will not support that loon Toomey.

    August 23, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. bennie new york

    Wow, Hagel's more of a maverick than I ever could have guessed. Can't say I don't like him for it, though.

    August 23, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. barry

    Well that is unexpected. Interesting to see how this plays out.

    August 23, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. ST

    Soon we are going to hear from the queen of Alaska complaining that is "a stab in the heart", without knowing that reasoning people like Chuck Hagel put country first and the party second!

    August 23, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. geecee

    I like Chuck Hagel very much and hope he has a place in our American political scene someday soon. We need people like this man who is not affiliated with a party, but is a true American and votes his conscience and what he feels is best for America – not just tow the "Party" line. I hope President Obama has a place for him in his Administration. We need lots more politicians like him.

    August 23, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. sharon

    way to go Hagel !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good job.

    August 23, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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