Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) did not offer a detailed comment in response to the 2008 remarks by former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel that the “Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” in Washington, but did say he had a “great many friends in the Jewish lobby,” according to the Weekly Standard:
“I won’t comment on that, but I’ll comment on [this],” Nelson said Tuesday afternoon. “I have a great many friends in the Jewish lobby.”
Nelson did not name names.
Hagel, the former Republican senator from Nebraska who is widely rumored to be the leading candidate as the next secretary of defense, has a history of controversial statements about Israel and America’s alliance with the Jewish state. Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized his statement about the Jewish lobby.