Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Tuesday called for the panel to approve the nomination of Chuck Hagel to serve as the next defense secretary, saying the former GOP senator from Nebraska sufficiently cleared the air on past remarks.
"Much of the time and attention at our committee hearing was devoted to a handful of statements that Sen. Hagel made over the course of his career that raised legitimate questions about his views on Israel, Iran, and other issues," Levin said in his opening statement before the committee vote. "Sen. Hagel explained or clarified these statements and placed them in context. He apologized for one remark and told the committee that he would say other things differently if he had the chance or were making them over."
Levin went on to note that Hagel has provided assurances on his support for Israel and his view of Iran's nuclear program as a legitimate threat.