Cantor: Hagel is ‘wrong man for the job’

House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorGOP faces tough battle to become 'party of health care' 737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington House Republicans find silver lining in minority MORE (R-Va.) said Monday that former Sen. Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelTrump's pick for Pentagon chief wins allies on Capitol Hill Trump pick brings scrutiny to 'revolving door' between Pentagon, industry Overnight Defense: Senators plan 22 resolutions to block Saudi arms sale | Trump defends transgender military plan | Trump, lawmakers prep to mark D-Day anniversary MORE (R-Neb.) is the “wrong man for the job” of the next Pentagon chief.

Cantor issued a statement stating his opposition to Hagel shortly after the former senator was nominated by President Obama to become Defense secretary.


“I am profoundly concerned and disappointed by President Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense,” Cantor said in the statement.

“Recent reporting has made clear that Senator Hagel’s views and inflammatory statements about Israel are well outside the mainstream and raise well-founded doubts that he can be trusted to manage the special relationship the United States shares with our greatest Middle East ally,” he said.

As a House member, of course, Cantor does not get a vote on Hagel’s confirmation. But his opposition highlights the conservative mobilization against Hagel, who angered many Republicans with his opposition to the Iraq war at the end of the George W. Bush administration.

The Republican National Committee on Monday issued a release that went after Hagel and outlined the opposition to him thus far.

Cantor and other GOP lawmakers who have opposed Hagel — including Senate Minority Whip John CornynJohn CornynGOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal Hillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Senators introduce legislation to boost cyber defense training in high school MORE (R-Texas) — have cited Hagel’s comments about the “Jewish lobby” intimidating people in Washington and said that he’s soft on Iran.

Many Senate Republicans have expressed concerns about Hagel’s comments and positions, but have stopped short of saying they would vote against his confirmation.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Funding a strong defense of our nation's democratic process can't wait The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (R-Ky.) said on ABC’s “This Week” he would wait and see how the hearings go before deciding whether to support Hagel.