Coburn: Hagel Does Not Have the Experience to Manage Pentagon

'If there's a place we need great management, it's the Pentagon, and a great manager'

December 30, 2012

Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) said he will not support a Chuck Hagel nomination for Secretary Defense on "Face the Nation" Sunday. Coburn cited past statements and positions Hagel has taken, in addition to Hagel's lack of experience managing a very large bureaucracy as reasons for disqualification:

NORAH O'DONNELL: You both served with Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel who has been mentioned as a choice for Defense Secretary, Senator Coburn would you vote for him?

TOM COBURN: I cannot vote for Chuck Hagel.


COBURN: Just simply because of some of the positions he's taken and statements he's [made].

O'DONNELL: What about you Sen. Durbin?

DICK DURBIN: I think he has proven his patriotism, and public service. Two purple hearts in Vietnam. This man deserves more than just a hearing. He deserves our respect for the service he's given our country in the and the Senate and to disqualify him for statements he's made-- I think he at least deserves a hearing and an opportunity.

COBURN: That's not the only reason to disqualify him. He does not have the experience to manage a very large organization like the Pentagon. And we've actually had-- I think Leon Panetta has done a wonderful job. I supported his nomination. He did have a lot of experience prior to coming here. And if there's a place we need great management, it's the Pentagon, and a great manager.