In an opinion piece published Thursday in the Omaha World-Herald, freshman Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) wrote that she will vote against the nomination of fellow Cornhusker Chuck Hagel to serve as the next defense secretary.
Fischer, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will break with Nebraska's other GOP senator, Mike Johanns, who said last weekend that Hagel "earned" his support.
Fischer wrote in the piece that after meeting with Hagel privately and witnessing his testimony, she cannot back the nomination. Elected in 2012 over former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) — whom Hagel endorsed in the race — Fischer said that she is most concerned about Hagel's "insistence on positions that history has proven wrong."
During our one-on-one meeting, I asked Sen. Hagel if, in hindsight, he would have voted differently regarding unilateral sanctions on Iran. Despite the pressure these sanctions have exerted on the Iranian regime, Sen. Hagel stood by his lonely votes. Similarly, when pressed by Sen. John McCain about his opposition to the surge of troops in Iraq, which helped to turn around an unsuccessful war, Sen. Hagel refused to acknowledge his incorrect judgment.
I understand no one has all the answers or is correct 100 percent of the time. But as an elected official, I also believe leadership requires the humility to admit being wrong.
By refusing to acknowledge previous miscalculations on fundamental national security questions, Sen. Hagel has failed to instill confidence that he is the right leader for this position.
In response to a question from Sen. Kelly Ayotte on Iran policy, Sen. Hagel stated it “doesn't make any difference what I think.”
Indeed it does matter, and that is precisely the point.
Read the entire piece here.