FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

WATCH: McCain Defends Hagel's Integrity, "No One...Should Impugn His Integrity"

The Senate Armed Services Committee meeting this afternoon considering the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense was considerably lengthened after the statement by new Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).  Cruz claimed that it is unclear whether Hagel had received speaking fees from "radical and extreme groups."

Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-MI) engaged in a lengthy discussion with Cruz about the calls for more time and more information.  Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) then criticized Cruz for "over the line" attacks on Hagel's patriotism.

Arizona Senator and former Hagel friend John McCain (R-AZ) then got a big thank you smile from Nelson when he decided to enter - and end - the tense debate:  "I just want to make it clear, Senator Hagel is a honorable man.  He has served his country, and no one on this Committee, at any time, should impugn his character or his integrity."



That got the statements back on track, and McCain voted "no", along with the rest of Hagel's former GOP colleagues.  However, the nomination was passed along to the rest of the Senate.



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