Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said Sunday there would be “few votes” from Republicans should former Sen. Chuck Hagel be nominated to succeed Sec. Leon Panetta as defense secretary in an interview with “Fox News Sunday.”
CHRIS WALLACE: The apparent front-runner for the new Defense Secretary, Panetta, of course, according to — apparently is one of your former Senate colleagues, former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel who came under fire for positions on engaging Iran and supporting defense spending cuts. On “Meet the Press” this morning, President Obama apparently, while he didn’t say he’ll name him, said he has seen nothing in any of the criticism to block him. Senator Graham, are Republicans going to block Chuck Hagel if he’s the nominee for Defense Secretary?
LINDSEY GRAHAM: I think a lot of Republicans and Democrats are very concerned about Chuck Hagel’s position on Iran sanctions. His views toward Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah and there is wide and deep concern about his policies. All of us like him as a person. It will be up to the president to make the selection. The hearings will matter. They will matter a lot to me, and if he sends Chuck Hagel up it will be a confirmation hearing of consequence.
WALLACE: So, at this point you are not prepared to say the Republicans would put a hold on the nomination, or filibuster it?
GRAHAM: I can tell you there would be very little Republican support for his nomination, at the end of the day, very few votes.