Levin endorses Reed as successor on Armed Services panel

Levin, who announced last week he was retiring after 2014, has been the top Democrat on the committee for 16 years.

He had only glowing praise for Reed, saying that the committee "couldn’t do better.”

Reed, however, was not interested in entertaining questions Tuesday about whether he could become chairman once Levin is gone.

“Senator Levin is the chairman,” Reed said as he waved off questions from reporters and hopped in an elevator.

A West Point graduate and Army Major, Reed has served in the Senate since 1997 after three terms in the House.