Ayotte Statement on Hagel Nomination
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today voted to conclude debate on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to serve as the next Secretary of Defense. On final approval of the nomination, she voted no. Ayotte released the following statement:
"Senator Hagel has earned the respect and gratitude of all Americans for his brave service in Vietnam. I appreciated the opportunity to meet personally with him in my office and to question him during his appearance before the Armed Services Committee.
"As our military leaders have testified, the United States faces one of the most complex and dangerous national security environments in our history. We need a strong secretary of defense at the Pentagon who will fight to maintain America's military strength and speak with clarity and consistency on the leading national security challenges our country confronts.
"Senator Hagel's prior positions on Iran sanctions and the designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, as well as the troubling statements he has made regarding Israel, place him far outside the national security mainstream of both parties. Given his record, his testimony, and his past statements - including his endorsement of proposals that would gut our nuclear deterrent - I couldn't vote to confirm his nomination."