Sen. Blumenthal ‘not comfortable yet’ with Hagel nomination for Defense

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said on Sunday that he is not ready to support President Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel for secretary of Defense.

"I'm not comfortable yet," Blumenthal said on "Fox News Sunday." 

Blumenthal, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, said he wants to press Hagel for more information about his views on Iran and Israel.

He predicted that while the Senate will ultimately approve Hagel's nomination, he has reserved judgement until he has an opportunity to hear Hagel's views during his confirmation hearing.

ADVERTISEMENT
"I think we've reach a point in this country, unfortunately, where positions are taken on nominees—very dramatic and staunch positions—before they have an opportunity to give their own positions," Blumenthal said.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who also appeared on Fox, said she is "very troubled" by Obama's pick of Hagel.

She said she hasn't decided yet how she will vote, but questioned why the president nominated Hagel given his past comments, which she views as soft on Iran and critical of Israel.

Hagel has faced strong opposition from Republicans and pro-Israel groups, who have seized on a remark he once made about the "Jewish lobby" intimidating lawmakers.