Bunning, Santorum vote against Gates

The Senate confirmed Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense yesterday, voting 95-2 to replace departing Donald Rumsfeld with the former Iraq Study Group member.

Two GOP senators, Jim Bunning (Ky.) and Rick Santorum (Pa.), voted against Gates. Santorum, who lost his reelection bid to Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), said in a floor speech that he found fault with Gates’s support for diplomatic engagement with Iran as part of a regional solution to the crisis in Iraq.

The rationale for Bunning’s vote was unclear as of press time, but he has voted against high-profile Bush nominees in recent months, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.