McCaskill Warns Inhofe About Hagel Speculation: ‘Be Careful’

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on Tuesday offered Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) some advice at a Senate confirmation hearing for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel: take care not to speculate about someone’s record.

“He has done anything that we’ve ever asked a nominee to do,” McCaskill said. “So I think it’s very troubling that we have gotten close to that line and I’ve got to tell you, Senator Inhofe, be careful because you might have an organization endorse you that you find arentabhorrent. Would I have a right to say you were cozy with them? What if some horrible organization tomorrow said you were the best guy they knew. The idea that somebody is endorsed by somebody else, that that somehow signs him up to agree with this country that he has acknowledged to this committee is a threat to our nation, that he has acknowledged that he will not be part of any policy of containment, that he knows we must stop them from getting nuclear weapon, and that they are a state sponsored organization of terrorism.”

Inhofe explained his opposition to Hagel’s nomination in part because of his apparent endorsement by Iran.

“I’d say he’s endorsed by them,” Inhofe said at the hearing. “You can’t get any cozier than that.”

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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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