15 Republican senators call on Obama to withdraw Hagel's defense secretary nomination

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 22, 2013 07:30 hrs

in a letter to the White house, 15 Republican senators have asked President Barack Obama to withdraw Chuck Hagel's nomination to be the next defense secretary.

The letter was signed by Senators John Cornyn, R-Texas; James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; David Vitter, R-La.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Dan Coats, R-Ind., Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Jim Risch, R-Idaho; John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Tom Coburn, R-Okla, and Tim Scott, R-S.C..

According to CBS News, in it, the senators argued that it would be 'unprecedented' to confirm a nominee who did not have a 'broad bipartisan base of support'.

They wrote that the occupant of this critical office should be someone whose candidacy is neither controversial nor divisive.

According to the report, they have raised particular concerns about Hagel's 'seeming ambivalence' about halting Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon, worrying that 'if Senator Hagel becomes Secretary of Defense, the military option' to prevent an Iranian nuke 'will have near zero credibility'.

The White House pushed back on Thursday, with White House press secretary Jay Carney saying Hagel would 'absolutely not' be withdrawn from consideration, labeling the foot-dragging on Hagel's nomination 'political gamesmanship', the report added. (ANI)

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