Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said he told Hagel in a “cordial” meeting Tuesday that they were too philosophically opposed on the issues for Inhofe to support his nomination to replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon. Inhofe said Hagel had not demonstrated the same level of concern as Panetta about the looming defense cuts under the process known as sequestration.
Inhofe said he also is concerned with Hagel's positions on nuclear disarmament and on Iran and Israel.
“In 2000, he was one of just four senators who refused to sign a letter affirming U.S. solidarity with Israel,” Inhofe said. “In 2001, he was one of just two senators who voted against extending the sanctions against Iran. A year later, he urged the Bush administration to support Iranian membership in the World Trade Organization. Given the current tension in the Middle East that is largely being instigated by the Iranian regime, I am concerned with Senator Hagel's views.”
Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau