Todd to Dempsey: ‘And You’re Confident [Hagel] Can Do the Job?’

Dempsey: 'I'm not going to speak about confidence'


Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey would not say explicitly if he was confident Chuck Hagel coud do the job of secretary of defense Sunday morning on “Meet the Press.” General Dempsey was also very complimentary of Hagel’s performance in preparation for the hearings. However when pressed to compare Hagel’s preparation to his actual performance, General Dempsey hedged telling Chuck Todd “I’m not going to grade his homework:”

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: I have spent time with Senator Hagel, including when he was teaching over at Georgetown, on strategic issues. And in helping prepare him for this confirmation hearings, we had several opportunities to talk about strategy, and I found him well prepared and very thoughtful about it.

CHUCK TODD: Were his answers to you better than the answers you saw there?

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: I’m not going to grade his homework. But in my conversations, he was well prepared, articulate, concise.

CHUCK TODD: And you’re confident he can do the job?

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: I’m not going to speak about confidence. He could be my boss. When is the last time you saw a subordinate discuss the confidence in his boss? My personal contacts with him have been very positive. If he’s confirmed, I look forward to working with him.

Full interview: