Bob Dole, retired U.S. senator from Kansas, issued a statement Friday supporting former Senate colleague Chuck Hagel’s nomination as President Obama’s new Secretary of Defense.
“Chuck Hagel has spent his entire life in service to his country,” Dole said in a statement e-mailed from Washington, D.C., where he lives.
“He volunteered to fight in Vietnam and did so bravely, side-by-side with his brother and earning two Purple Hearts.
“Hagel’s wisdom and courage make him uniquely qualified to be Secretary of Defense and lead the men and women of our armed forces.”
Dole, like Hagel a war veteran wounded in combat, was for many years the Senate majority leader. He ran unsuccessfully as the Republican Party’s nominee for president in 1996.
The nomination of Hagel, a former Nebraska senator, has faced opposition from some Republican senators, who object to statements he made about the Iraq War years ago, and who were dissatisfied with Hagel’s performance when he answered questions posed by a Senate committee evaluating his nomination.
Among those opposed to his nomination is Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas. The state’s other senator, Jerry Moran, voted last week to delay Hagel’s confirmation vote.