Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel was on the defensive as lawmakers fired questions at him about his previous comments and positions at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday.
Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hagel had a heated exchange with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., when he refused to give him a direct answer on whether the Iraq war surge succeeded. He gave a rambling apology for using the term "Jewish lobby" in response to a question from Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and stumbled as he answered various questions about Iran, Politico reports.
Conservative political pundits slammed Hagel's performance, with some even saying he fared so poorly it should lead to a filibuster.
Philip Klein, of the Examiner (@philipaklein) tweeted: "Rare that hearings actually sink nominee, but this disastrous Hagel performance could embolden GOP Sens mulling filibuster." He also wrote, "Policy disagreements aside, Hagel just isn't coming across as somebody who would be a competent Secretary of Defense."
Jennifer Rubin, of the Washington Post (@JRubinBlogger) tweeted: "When you co-author a report you should be able to answer questions. He is bombing, so to speak." She also wrote, "Hagel is too dumb to be SecDef if he doesn't know what was in his own report and can't say if true or not."
Via Politico and Twitter