It’s already been a very long day for Senator Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s pick to be the next Secretary of Defense. Amidst questioning in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hagel directly refused to answer a simple question from former colleague Senator John McCain.
Senator McCain: “Even as late as August 29, 2011, in an interview…2011, in an interview with the Financial Times you stated, ‘I disagreed with President Obama to surge in Iraq as I did with President Bush on the surge in Iraq.’ Do you stand by those comments, Senator Hagel?”
Senator Hagel: “Well Senator I stand by em because I made em.”
Senator McCain: “Were you right? Were you correct in your assessment?”
Senator Hagel: “Well I would defer to the judgment of history to sort that out.”
When Hagel declined to answer “yes” or “no,” McCain told his former colleague, “I want to know if you were right or wrong. That’s a direct question,” repeatedly accusing Hagel of refusing to answer the question.
“You’re on the wrong side of it, and your refusal to answer whether you were right or wrong on it is going to have an impact on my judgment on whether to vote for your confirmation,” McCain concluded.
If I’m Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) right now, I am most likely reconsidering the endorsement of my friend from Nebraska.