Archive for Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts won’t back Chuck Hagel to become secretary of defense

January 8, 2013


— Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts said Tuesday he won’t support President Barack Obama’s nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead the Department of Defense.

Roberts describes his fellow Republican as a longtime friend but says they have too many differences on foreign policy and national security. Obama nominated Hagel to replace Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who is retiring, but he must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

“That’s not my choice. If Chuck Hagel would have called me, my advice to him would have been not to offer up his name,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of concern about Chuck.”

Before speaking to high school government students in Osage City, Roberts said he and Hagel have differing views on Israel and Iran, among other issues, that factor into his decision.

Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas’ other Republican senator, said he was “not at all impressed by the nomination.”

“But there is a process now under way to further evaluate the nominee’s suitability for confirmation. I look forward to fair and rigorous hearings on this issue,” Moran said.

Hagel has drawn criticism for his remarks referring to pro-Israeli interests as “the Jewish lobby” and suggesting they hold too much sway in Washington. He has also called for direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and suggested that Iran be at the table during negotiations on peace in Afghanistan.

Roberts called Hagel a “very good friend,” noting that they served on the Senate Intelligence Committee together, but he said the Nebraskan’s views on the Middle East were troubling.

Roberts didn’t know if Hagel’s nomination could get through the Senate.

“That’s tough for me because I know him, he’s a personal friend, but I don’t think he’s well-suited for that position,” said Roberts, a former Marine.

While he didn’t offer any alternative candidates for the post, Roberts did say that Panetta was doing a good job, but he knew that he was growing tired of the post.

“That’s a tough job right now,” Roberts said.

If confirmed, Hagel would be the first enlisted man to ascend to the level of secretary of defense. He served as a private and sergeant during Vietnam and received two purple hearts, experience that Roberts said worked in Hagel’s favor in arguing for the nomination.


uglyrumor 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm glad I'm not that guys "very good friend".


blindrabbit 1 year, 3 months ago

liberty275: Dubya's wife Laura, wiped out her high school boyfriend in a hissy fit car crash proving a Corvair and a Caddy are not a fair fight. Apparently daddy knew the county sherrif so all was forgotten. The road runs both ways.


blindrabbit 1 year, 3 months ago

rockchalk1977: Taking a break from the KU game, but I see you've been caught in an Iowa State Cyclone. No, or few women appointed by the President you say; what about: (1) Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton, (2) Sec. of Commerce, Rebecca Blank, (3) Sec. of Labor, Hilda Solis, (4) Sec. of Healt and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, (5) Sec. of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, (6) Sec. of EPA, Lisa Jackson, (7) UN Sec. Susan Rice, (8) Dir. Small Business Admin., Karen Mills, (9 & 10) Justices of Supreme Court Sotomayer, and Kagan. Also tried to appoint Elizabeth Warren to Consumer Protection but appointment killed by Regressicans.

Only meaningful Dubya female appointee was the warmongering (and probably war criminal) Condaleeza Rice.

Got to get back to the game! Rockchalk 1969 and 1971.


Alceste 1 year, 3 months ago

Mulit millionaire Roberts needs to sit down and shut up: Better yet, he needs to be voted out of office so he can join the WELFARE ranks of his fellow political hacks.

Roberts' does not represent Kansans' in the US Senate: He represents only the wealthy who have a connection with they resident or otherwise. He is the epitome of unctuous, specious, meritricious political hackery. Way to go Patty!!

(Net worth See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Roberts' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $472,951 and $2,162,996. That averages to $1,690,045, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.[8] : ) Further, see:


Laus_Deo 1 year, 3 months ago

Chuck Hagel? Seriously?

Will the U.S. attack Iran?...not Chuck.

It’s a valid question. After all, there’s a huge catalyst for a war.

It’s a well-known fact that Iran wants nothing to do with the petrodollar. And if oil ever becomes priced in a currency other than dollars… the buck will become worthless.

Of course, the U.S. would never admit to attacking Iran because of the petrodollar. It would probably cite concern with Iran’s nuclear program as justification for military action. Or perhaps it would say we were simply protecting Israel’s interests.

Still, in order for military action to happen you need a president who doesn’t mind fighting a war. And I’m not sure Obama is that president, especially after what happened earlier this week. On Monday, he nominated former Senator and Republican Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.


rockchalk1977 1 year, 3 months ago

This week Obama will announce a handful of Cabinet nominees... and they’re all white men. “I’m disappointed so far,” says Terry O’Neill, head of the National Association of Gals (NAG). She says one of the reasons that women voters supported Obama’s reelection was that they perceived that he was comfortable “putting women in positions of trust.” And it’s not just a matter of gender, gay-rights extremists are still holding out hope that the Obama second-term cabinet will include at least one openly-gay secretary to go along with his two Supreme Court justices. Obama's 2012 motto "forward" really should have been "backward" when it comes to diversity. That's what you get with greedy low information voters deciding an election.


oldbaldguy 1 year, 3 months ago

Two purple hearts, Army Ranger and he thinks for himself. I would vote for him.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 3 months ago

The guy above was correct. The dumb Republicans lost the election. They still have not learned. They will eat their own. This is one great reason not to vote for any of them.


jhawkinsf 1 year, 3 months ago

Some of our more progressive posters are conveniently ignoring Hagel's rather poor record when it comes to gay rights. He consistently voted against the interests of gays, several times earning a zero rating from human rights groups. That's in addition to some rather controversial anti-gay remarks Hagel made.

Just yesterday, there was a story on CNN about the spouse of an openly gay active duty member of the service who was being denied acceptance into an organization dedicated to providing support for just such spouses. Given Hagel's track record, what will his position be if he becomes Secretary of Defense? I'd be very curious about what questions President Obama or his people asked Hagel during the vetting process and what answers he gave.


average 1 year, 3 months ago

My read on this is that, after the House Republicans left the Senate Republicans high and dry on their fiscal cliff deal cover, Roberts and Moran both feel vulnerable to getting right-winged out. Expect them to flail for whatever craziness they can find to prove their ultra-right bona-fides (a birther bill maybe?) over the next year until that vote is a distant memory.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 3 months ago

"Hagel has drawn criticism for his remarks referring to pro-Israeli interests as “the Jewish lobby” and suggesting they hold too much sway in Washington."

Hagel said he misspoke, and should have said pro-Israeli interests rather than the Jewish lobby. But his track record over the years clearly indicates he isn't anti-Israel or anti-Semitic, but rather pro-rational foreign policy.

But the resistance to Hagel is a perfect example of how much sway the pro-Israeil lobby really does have over policy in Washington, whether it's from neocons or the ADL or fundy Christians who support Israel because of the role it plays in their fantasies about the end-times and their ensuing ascension to heaven. (Ascend already!?!)


LJD230 1 year, 3 months ago

If the Kansas delegation to Washington is a butt of jokes, what does that say about Kansans who elect them? Just saying.


texburgh 1 year, 3 months ago

Roberts position has nothing to do with Hagel's qualifications. Like all congressional Republicans he is an obstructionist so intent on voting NO on ANYTHING the President supports that he is now willing to say any Republican that Obama thinks is qualified can't be qualified.

The entire Kansas congressional delegation - from Huelskamp (such a jerk even Boehner can't stand him) to Yoder (stipping nude in front of other congressmen, their wives, and children), to Pompeo (WWKD - what would Koch do?) to Jenkins (the queen of questionable franking) to Moran (I have no positions) to Roberts (the guy who quit the committee when the Dems took the Senate rather than be just ranking minority member) - is an embarrassment to the state.


rockchalk1977 1 year, 3 months ago

NBC: Hagel might lose 10 Democrats in the Senate.

Obama is choosing a fight over Hagel to send a clear message to Israel and Iran. Obama does not like Israel and Iran can do whatever they want with their nuclear program.


observant 1 year, 3 months ago

If Roberts and the Moron are against Hagel, he must be an outstanding candidate. But then we all know the jewish lobby owns the GOP, lock, stock and barrel.


Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 3 months ago

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS): Chairman of the Senate Cover-up Committee

As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Pat Roberts’s (R-KS) duty is “to provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States” and “to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.” But on the most important intelligence issues facing Americans – such as the manipulation of Iraq intelligence, warrantless domestic spying, and torture – Roberts has transformed his committee into a “Senate Coverup Committee” for the Bush administration.

Warrantless Domestic Spying Iraq Intelligence Intelligence Leak Hypocrisy Torture What Editorial Boards Are Saying


cowboy 1 year, 3 months ago

Time for Senator Coverup to retire


distant_voice 1 year, 3 months ago

This is a pretty typical stance from Roberts. The radical right which now controls the Republican party refuses to even support middle-of-the-road Republicans like Hagel. Personally, I think Hagel is great for the job and comments like this from Roberts only confirm that belief.


msezdsit 1 year, 3 months ago

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts has been lost since bush. He was bush's lapdog and mouthpiece now he has nothing to base anything on. He is a brainless, spineless idiot. His head is an empty vessel. Moran is MORON. They both are an embarrassment to Kansas.

While I support the "people" of Israel whole heartedly, the government has been allowed to operate behaving against all the standards "we" hold the other countries in the region to. They use our weapons to ruthlessly attack the Palestinian people rather than try to seek a peaceful resolution and always want to play the chicken or the egg policy to justify anything they want to do and we are not only supposed to rubber stamp them, we are supposed to jump up and down and show our support for anything they do.

I think my biggest worry about Chuck Hagel is that he won't be the person the republicans are trying to play him out to be. We need to take a tuff stance with the Israeli government. We need to be tuff with Iran but the war hawks just want another war and that is the worst thing we can do. Go to war with Iran to show our support for Israel. That is no foreign policy at all. That is stupidity. If Hagel doesn't buy into this stupidity than great. We could greatly reduce our debt if we would reign in the military spending and if Hagel will do this, he is the man for the job. We don't have to have the capacity to blow something up a thousand times. Once we've blown it up , whats the point in having the capacity to blow it up another thousand times after its already blown up. To many people are profiting from our industrial military complex and they are benefiting from it, not the country.


Abdu Omar 1 year, 3 months ago

The basis of Democracy is dissent. Can't we have a differing point of view? "Hagel has drawn criticism for his remarks referring to pro-Israeli interests as “the Jewish lobby” and suggesting they hold too much sway in Washington. " They do hold too much sway in Washington, but it is politiccal suicide to say that? Come on, let him have his opinion. Judge him on his ability to run the DOD. As I have said before, Israel is not our friend, they are taking from us as much as we will give knowing that the Christians who believe that the State of Israel must exist for Christ to return. Let me tell you, Israelis are not the same as the Children of Israel.


oldexbeat 1 year, 3 months ago

hmmm, the Chair of the US Senate Intelligence Coimmittee -- the one that either believed the lies about the WMD or spread them on purpose to start a war with Iraq -- is now sure that he knows that fellow Senator isn't now right for the DOD job. Hey, over there -- why was he ok on your ignorant committee, the one that had no idea about reality in the Middle East ? Or did he know what's up and tell you? Watiing. ?


Bob Forer 1 year, 3 months ago

Nothing to see here. Just some more ignorant republicans eating their own. Move on.


Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

This is headline news? Obama could nomiate Gabriel and they would try block to him as well.


riverdrifter 1 year, 3 months ago

If Moran and Roberts, two teabaggers, are against a fellow Republican in this nomination, it is a sure lock. It must really, really suck for them to be this irrelevant -much less a laughing stock to the rest of the country.


hedshrinker 1 year, 3 months ago

here we go...if the President supports him then the Repubs have to reject him...this president has bent over backwards to be accomodating, to compromise, to work across the aisle, has nominated more "other" party candidates for cabinet, etc. than other Presidents...just can't believe how adversarial and really just juvenile...".nananananana" the political process has become and the peoples' business gets completely lost. Our needs are not addressed while Congress and the lobbyists make out like bandits. It's just idiocy.


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