Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said this week that former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) would have a tough battle to be confirmed if President Barack Obama nominates him to lead the Defense Department, but that Hagel’s previous votes didn’t disqualify him.
“I served with Chuck Hagel, I worked with him on some things. I like him, and I respect him. I wouldn’t say his votes disqualify him but if I were in the Senate and on the Armed Service Committee and he was nominated, I would have some really serious questions to ask him,” Lieberman said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Lieberman, who’s retiring next week and would not vote on a Hagel nomination, cited Hagel’s “very outlying votes” — particularly wanting to establish communications with Iran — as reason for raising questions for him.
“President Obama obviously has earned the right to nominate whoever he wants but I think this’ll be a very tough confirmation process,” Lieberman said. “I don’t know how it would end, but there are reasonable questions to ask and that Chuck Hagel will have to answer.”