Rick Santorum has launched a new campaign to thwart the confirmation of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense, accusing him of being "anti-Israel."
For his opening salvo, the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania and 2012 presidential candidate issued a lengthy statement attacking Hagel.
"I strongly oppose President Obama's nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense because his confirmation would send a dangerous signal to Iran and other radical Islamic elements which would make our country and our allies less secure. President Obama inadvertently whispered his "flexibility" to Russian dictators, and then nominates someone for Secretary of Defense who tipped off the Iranians that he would not use strength to prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons. I also have concerns over Hagel's disrespect for our strongest ally in the Middle East, Israel. Time after time, Sen. Hagel has sought to distance the United States from Israel and refused to stop efforts to end terrorist attacks on Israel.
"While I respect Sen. Hagel's service to America, I cannot stand by and support his nomination. His anti-Israel, pro-Iran mindset makes him uniquely unqualified to serve as our Defense Secretary.
"I opposed the nomination of Robert Gates as Defense Secretary, in 2006, because his position on Iran and radical Islam was weaker than the president that nominated him. Likewise, President Obama has nominated someone who is weaker on these vital national security issues. This country cannot afford someone in a key position of advising the president to be even more lenient and passive on the Iranian nuclear threat than President Obama has been to date.
"I understand defeating Hagel's nomination will not be easy, but as we learned with our efforts to defeat the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) treaty, it is a battle worth taking on. Just last month, we won our fight to stop CRPD, and for the safety and security of our nation, I intend to win the fight to stop the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary."