Even before President Obama nominated Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary yesterday, the former Republican Senator from Nebraska faced attacks from both sides over past statements on issues including Israel, Iran and gay rights.
Hagel's former chief of staff Mike Buttry, who worked for the Senator from 2000-2008, joins Starting Point this morning to discuss the criticism the nominee has received.
"With regard to the point on Israel, I’ve been astounded by the way that Senator Hagel’s record has been distorted," Buttry says. "This is someone who understands not just in his head, but in his heart, the importance of our relationship with Israel."
Buttry also weighs in on criticism of Hagel's "openly, aggressively gay" comment, remarking, "In our office it did not matter if you were gay or not. What mattered was the work that you did and that’s how he’ll operate in the Pentagon."