Rudy Giuliani weighed in with his own criticism of President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, calling it “mind-boggling” that he would pick someone most Republicans oppose.
“I think the president is flexing his muscles,” the former New York City mayor told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “I think he wants to show, ‘I’m in charge, I’m the boss. You denied me rights, I’m going to take Hagel.'”
“This is going to be a wounded secretary of defense,” Giuliani added.
“Why do you pick a Republican?” he continued, referring to Hagel, a former GOP senator from Nebraska, whose positions on Iran and defense spending issues have angered conservatives. “You pick a Republican to reach out to the other side of the aisle to show, ‘I’m willing to compromise.’ So, he selects a Republican that gets all the Republicans upset. He selects a Republican that Republicans in the Senate in large numbers are going to reject.
“I mean, it’s like, it’s mind-boggling.”
Giuliani, a former GOP presidential candidate, also was critical of Obama’s selection of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to head the CIA. The former mayor was particularly hard on past comments Brennan has made, including, “We are not at war with terrorism because terrorism is a state of mind.”
“I don’t know how he doesn’t get the fact that there’s a war going on. What the heck does he think happened in Libya a couple of months ago?” Giuliani asked, referring to the attack last year on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
“That’s part of their effort to try to kill us, to try to destroy us. They were at war with us when they attacked us on September 11th . They were at war with us when they killed our ambassador a few months ago.”
Giuliani said Brennan “seems to be in denial of the fact that these people are organized, they’re at war against us, they want to kill us, they want to destroy us, and they have done it.”