Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) said that Chuck Hagel’s past opposition to unilateral sanctions on Iran was difficult to understand Tuesday on MSNBC:
TAMRON HALL: We have heard Senator John McCain and the Republican party having serious concerns but here you are a Democrat and Tammy Baldwin a new member of the Senate, also, expressing some concerns but do you believe that in the end Chuck Hagel will perhaps ease your mind in a meeting? I know you have requested [a meeting] – and he will be confirmed here?
BEN CARDIN: I served with him in the Senate. He’s an honorable person. He’s served our nation in — wearing the uniform of our nation in Vietnam. But there are concerns. And during the confirmation process, we will have to have the questions answered. There’s an issue of his position in regards to Iran. He opposed certain sanctions against Iran. That’s hard for me to understand. He’s used language not just once but at least twice that has me concerned. And I want some questioneds answered. Normally we defer to the president to allow his team come into place, but we have an independent responsibility to advise and consent, and these questions need to be answered and I have some concerns.
So I — I personally want to understand why he felt that we should delay allowing Iran to move more aggressively forward with its nuclear weapons program when we move forward the international community followed us. These are questions I think as a Senator I have a responsibility to get his answers [on] before making a decision to support the confirmation or not.