After Chuck Hagel’s resignation as Secretary of Defense – a resignation that was reportedly forced by the White House – both U.S. Senators from New Hampshire praised his military service.
But Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte also took a hard swing at President Obama.
“While I did not support Secretary Hagel’s nomination to be the Secretary of Defense,”Ayotte said, “we should be clear that the responsibility for the national security failings of this administration rests primarily with the White House and not with Secretary Hagel.”
Ayotte said, “I admire Secretary Hagel’s long record of distinguished service to our nation – including his honorable and courageous service in Vietnam – and I wish him the very best in the future.
Ayotte also said, “As the president considers who to nominate as the next Secretary of Defense, it’s imperative that it be an individual who can garner broad, bipartisan support. Such an individual must possess an intense focus on providing our troops what they need, a clear understanding of the threats our nation faces, as well as an ability to effectively advocate for the defense strategy and budget necessary to protect our country.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen meanwhile said she has “the utmost respect for Secretary Chuck Hagel and his service to our country. Throughout his career of service – in uniform, in the Senate, and finally at the Pentagon, Secretary Hagel has distinguished himself as a bipartisan leader committed to protecting our military men and women and national security.
“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am looking forward to considering the President’s nominee for Secretary of Defense and discussing how he or she will protect U.S. national security interests in confronting challenges such as ISIS as well as protect our men and women in uniform.”