Levin calls Hagel 'well-qualified,' Cantor upset

AP News
Posted: Jan 07, 2013 2:03 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee says Chuck Hagel is "well-qualified" to be the next Defense secretary.

Sen. Carl Levin, who will oversee Hagel's confirmation hearing, said in a statement Monday that the former Republican senator has a wealth of experience in national security and is a strong advocate for the men and women of the military.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, who will be the top Republican on the panel, mentioned concerns about Hagel's policy positions and vowed to seek clarification during the hearing.

In the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor says Hagel is the wrong man for the job. The Virginia Republican said Hagel has espoused incendiary views about Israel that are out of the mainstream.

Only the Senate votes on the nomination.