There has been a lot of political coverage this morning about the gathering opposition to President Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. But what there hasn't been a lot of is people saying on the record that they oppose his nomination. Here's a breakdown of the people who won't support him, and those who so far are only willing to say they have concerns.
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. After reports that Obama was considering Hagel as defense secretary came out in December, Kristol's political action committee, Emergency Committee for Israel, aired ads on cable news saying, "President Obama: For Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel is not a 'responsible option.'" Why: Initally because of Hagel's positions relating to Iran -- Kristol's group's ads said Hagel opposed sanctions on Iran, labeling Iran's Revolutionary Guards a terror group, and a military strike on the country. But on Fox News Sunday, Kristol laid out other complaints. "Is there any Hagel legislation?" Kristol asked. "Has he written anything memorable? — said anything memorable?... Has he run anything big like the Pentagon?"
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. “Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for Secretary of Defense and if he is nominated, it is difficult to imagine any way I could support his confirmation,” Cruz told the conservative site Washington Free Beacon. Why: Cruz's reasoning is the opposite of Kristol's. I think. While Kristol's group condemned Hagel for opposing a military strike on Iran, Cruz says Hagel would make war with Iran more likely, because he's too nice to Iran. Hagel "has repeatedly been soft on our enemies," Cruz said. "Bullies do not respond to weakness, and Hagel’s stance on Iran—the most serious national security challenge America currently faces—makes conflict more likely, not less likely." Another thing that might have something to do with Cruz's opposition is that he's a freshman Senator, and is perhaps unfamiliar with the art of the Sunday show hedge, which his colleagues performed over the weekend. Still, even Cruz hedged a teeny bit: "It is very difficult to imagine a circumstance in which I could could support him," Cruz said on Fox News Sunday.