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      Sen. Lieberman: ‘Serious Questions’ on Possible Hagel Nomination

      Sen. Lieberman joined in the chorus of opposition to potential appointment of former Sen. Hagel as Secretary of Defense.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 12/24/2012, 3:46 AM

      Independent Senator for Connecticut Joe Lieberman
      Independent Senator for Connecticut Joe Lieberman
      Reuters

      Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) on Sunday joined in the chorus of opposition to the potential appointment of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense, saying he doesn’t appear to take the threat posed by the Iranian regime seriously enough to replace current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

      "Chuck Hagel has consistently been against economic sanctions to try to change the behavior of the Islamist regime, the radical regime in Tehran, which is the only way to do it, short of war," Lieberman told Candy Crowley on CNN’s "State of the Union," expressing doubts over Hagel's ability to secure Congress's approval during a possible confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

      Asked if Hagel's stance on the Middle East, which has been slammed by many Jewish groups and some members of Congress, should disqualify Hagel, Lieberman said, "I wouldn't say that his votes disqualify him, but if I were in the Senate on the Armed Services Committee and he was nominated I would have some really serious questions to ask him."

      "Anyone who has tried to communicate with Iran has run into a brick wall," he said, predicting a "very tough confirmation process" if Hagel is named.

      The Republican Jewish Coalition issued a statement asserting that Hagel’s nomination would “be a slap in the face for every American who is concerned about the safety of Israel,” as the organization cited a long list of actions Hagel has taken that raise alarms about his failure to support the Jewish state.