Hagel-Fiesta in Hill

Chuck Hagel on Thursday defended his 12-year record as a Nebraska GOP senator during his confirmation hearings for his nomination as secretary of defense before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He vowed to maintain a muscular American military that wouldn’t hesitate in the face of the country’s biggest threats overseas.

In his prepared remarks, Hagel addressed the criticisms he has received from Republicans and Democrats over his positions on such things as U.S.-Israeli relations, attitudes toward gay Americans, Iran and the surge in Iraq.

“But no one individual vote, quote, or statement defines me, my beliefs, or my record,” Hagel said. “My overall worldview has never changed: that America has and must maintain the strongest military in the world; that we must lead the international community to confront threats and challenges together; and that we must use all tools of American power to protect our citizens and our interests.” [Politico.com]

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