Cornyn listed several reasons the former Republican senator from Nebraska would be wrong for the position, including his “soft” positions on Iran.
Cornyn also attacked Hagel for not understanding the importance of America’s relationship with Israel.
Hagel once said that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” in Washington, D.C. Cornyn said that comment showed a “stubborn hostility” against “America’s closest Middle Eastern ally.”
“The comment is quite revealing because he simply doesn’t understand the true basis of the relationship between Israel and America,” Cornyn said. “We have common goals and principles. … Both of our countries are threatened by radical Islam.”
Recently, Hagel has walked away from some of his previous comments about Israel and Iran. Cornyn called that “a confirmation conversion.”
“He’s now repudiating many of his past statements, but we’ve seen this before,” Cornyn said. “This sudden and convenient transformation beggars belief. … He just wants to win approval from members of this chamber.”
If confirmed, Hagel would replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.