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In their own words

  • January 31, 2013 - 10:08 PM

Chuck Hagel, secretary of defense nominee

"No one individual vote, no one individual quote or no one individual statement defines me, my beliefs, or my record. My overall worldview has never changed: that America has and must maintain the strongest military in the world, that we must lead the international community to confront threats and challenges together, and that we must use all tools of American power to protect our citizens and our interests."

"I think we're always on higher ground in every way -- international law, domestic law, people of the world, people of the region to be with us on this -- if we have ... gone through every possibility to resolve this in a responsible, peaceful way, rather than going to war."

"I think engagement [with Iran] is clearly in our interest. That's not negotiation. Engagement is not appeasement. Engagement is not surrender."

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.: "They are not reasonable people disagreeing; they are fundamental disagreements. Our concerns pertain to the quality of your professional judgment and your worldview on critical areas of national security. ... I think history has already made a judgment about the surge, sir, and you're on the wrong side of it."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who serves as the committee's chairman: "It would be a positive message for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in harm's way around the world to know that one of their own holds the highest office in the Department of Defense and that he has their backs."

Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking Republican on the committee: "His record demonstrates what I view as a lack of steadfast opposition to policies that diminish U.S. power and influence throughout the world, as well as a recent trend of policy reversals that seem based on political expediency rather than on core beliefs."

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.: "Many of my colleagues are concerned you've changed your views. My concerns are that you haven't changed your views. You continue to hold extreme views, far to the left even of this administration."

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