Hagel Gets Republican Support
Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns announced yesterday that he would support Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense:
Sen. Mike Johanns said Saturday he will support the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel — a fellow Nebraska Republican — to be secretary of defense.
“Chuck earned this endorsement,” Johanns told the Lincoln Journal Star.
Asked to confirm the report, Johanns’s communications director, Nick Simpson, said in an email he would “just refer you back to that article.”
The news comes after Hagel’s confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, when the Obama nominee took heat from Republicans over his record on Iran, Israel and the Iraq war.
“Do not think he got a pass from me because he’s a friend,” Johanns added, saying Hagel’s reassurance about his view of U.S.-Israel relations was key.
Johanns also said that Hagel is set to hold more private meetings on the Hill this week, including with Republicans, and that “he believes Hagel can acquire more than 60 votes for Senate confirmation if the nomination encounters a Republican filibuster, but he’s beginning to think only a majority vote may be required.”
Senator Thad Cochran has also said that he will vote for Hagel’s confirmation. I suspect we’ll see other Republicans make this announcement as well. There will likely be a higher than usual number of “no” votes, but it seems clear that Hagel will end up being confirmed.