By Daniel Strauss - 01/10/13 06:22 PM EST
Sessions's comments came a day after he said that Lew, President Obama's chief of staff, "must never be secretary of Treasury." Obama reportedly wants Lew to succeed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
"I intend to oppose this nomination," Sessions added.
According to an aide, Sessions expects Lew's nomination to fail during the Senate confirmation process.
"I don't think he brings to — certainly doesn't bring the gravitas of former New York Fed chairmen like Secretary Geithner and other very prominent people we've had as secretary of Treasury, the premiere financial position of the United States government," Sessions said.
Both in his CNBC interview and his initial statement on Wednesday, Sessions said Lew's testimony about Obama's 2012 budget before the Senate Budget Committee automatically disqualified him from being Treasury secretary. Specifically, Sessions cited testimony in which Lew said that "Our budget will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we're not adding to the debt anymore; we're spending money that we have each year, and then we can work on bringing down our national debt."
Sessions, in his Wednesday statement, called Lew's comments "the most direct and important false assertion during my entire time in Washington."
But Lew's testimony could also be taken to mean that the Obama administration plan could lead to a balanced budget even if the single budget itself is not balanced.