Kerry Defends Defense Nominee Hagel

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Sen. John Kerry is the president's choice for secretary of state, but he suddenly found himself defending defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker questioned Kerry Thursday about Hagel's support for an 80 percent reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons. It's a major issue for the Tennessee lawmaker, who has the Y-12 nuclear facility in his state.

Corker raised serious concerns about Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska.

Kerry defended Hagel as a strong patriot and insisted he would be a strong defense secretary. He said those nuclear reductions would be a goal for the world, but unrealistic in today's world.

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