Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today joined a group of 14 other senators and called on President Obama to withdraw the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be Secretary of Defense.
Along with Coats, the letter to the president was signed by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), David Vitter (R-La.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.).
In their letter, the senators write, In their letter, the senators write, “Regarding U.S. policy on Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, Senator Hagel displayed a seeming ambivalence about whether containment or prevention is the best approach, which gives us great concern. Any sound strategy on Iran must be underpinned by the highly credible threat of U.S. military force, and there is broad bipartisan agreement on that point. If Senator Hagel becomes Secretary of Defense, the military option will have near zero credibility. This sends a dangerous message to the regime in Tehran, as it seeks to obtain the means necessary to harm both the United States and Israel.
“We have concluded that Senator Hagel is not the right candidate to hold the office of Secretary of Defense, and we respectfully request that you withdraw his nomination.”