Portman: Hagel disappoints

Sen. Robert Portman (R-Ohio) reacted quickly and negatively to President Barack Obama’s Jan. 7 nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to replace outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

???I am surprised and disappointed President Obama has chosen to move forward with Senator Hagel???s nomination given the significant concerns that both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have expressed about Senator Hagel???s positions and past votes on issues regarding some of our closest allies and most pressing national security threats,” he said.

At the announcement event, Panetta said Hagel was the right man for the job.

“Chuck Hagel is a patriot, he is a decorated combat veteran, and he is a dedicated public servant,” he said.

“I believe his experience, his judgment, his deep understanding of the security issues facing this country make him the right choice to be Secretary of Defense,” he said.

Portman said Hagel, a self-described Republican, who endorsed Obama for re-election and other Democrats, will get a fair hearing from him.

“I believe Senator Hagel should get a fair look and an opportunity to defend his record, his past comments, and his current beliefs, but I don???t understand why the Administration is looking to pick yet another political fight instead of working with Congress to solve some of the very real problems we face as a country.???