Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) reacted sharply to Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense Monday on MSNBC. Cornyn said that while he respects Chuck Hagel personally, Hagel is “profoundly wrong” on a number of the most important national security issues facing the country:
ANDREA MITCHELL: And joining us now is John Cornyn, one of the sharpest, strongest critics of Chuck Hagel, and a former colleague. Senator Cornyn, why do you think Tom Pickering, Ambassador Pickering, doesn’t have this right?
JOHN CORNYN: Well, I think it’s not a matter of personalities. I’ve known Chuck Hagel. He is an honorable man. He has had a record of distinguished service, but he is profoundly wrong on a number of the most important national security issues that face our country today, like denying Iran nuclear weapons, like direct face-to-face negotiations with State Department designated terrorist organizations like Hamas, and calling into question our commitment to our principle ally in the middle east, Israel. Those are three things that strike me as Senator Hagel being out of the mainstream, and I believe just wrong when it comes to protecting the national security of the United States.