Colin Powell defends Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary


Chuck Hagel was sworn in as the new secretary of defense on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.


Junko Kimura

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell backed President Barack Obama's decision to nominate Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense while speaking on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday.

Hagel is "superbly qualified based on his overall record, his service to the country, [and] ... how he feels about the troops," Powell said, The Hill blog reported.

Since Obama picked Hagel to lead the Defense Department, Republicans have been criticizing the Nebraska Senator. Objections range from his stance on Israel and Iran and his "overall temperament."

Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker told ABC's "This Week" that there were a number of staffers who were coming forth with complaints about how Hagel dealt with them, Thomson Reuters reported. Though Corker said that he would keep an open mind during the confirmation process, other Republicans aren't as easily persuaded.

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham said that Obama's nomination of Hagel was a direct snub by the President to everyone who was supportive of Israel, the Guardian reported. However, Powell disagreed.

Hagel is very supportive of the state of Israel, he said. "But it doesn't mean you have to agree with every single position that the Israeli government takes."