Rand Paul More Troubled With Chuck Hagel Each Passing Day
posted at 6:27 pm on February 8, 2013 by Duane Patterson
The key Kentucky Senator was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt Friday, and was asked about the revelation today by Breibart.com’s Ben Shapiro that the Defense secretary nominee received support from a group called Friends Of Hamas. Here’s the parts of that interview.
HH: Let me bring up one piece of information that Ben Shapiro at Breitbart put out today, which is one of the foreign funders behind Senator Hagel that he has not yet disclosed formally is something called Friends Of Hamas. If that is in fact true, Senator, would that lead you to vote against Mr. Hagel?
RP: You know, I saw that information today, also, and that is more and more concerning. With each day, there are new things coming out. So part of me wonders if the nomination continues to go on, and we’ll see how that goes. There are also either some organizations or corporations he’s been involved with that people, Ted Cruz in particular, has been asking are there any foreign contributors. And I think that is important. If you’re going to be in that high level a position in our government, we need to know if you have foreign sponsors, or have had foreign contributors. And I think that is pretty important, because people, that’s something that needs to be known.
HH: Well, let’s stay focused on Friends Of Hamas. Obviously, that would be a support group for a terrorist organization. Can you imagine voting or not filibustering anyone who’d received support from supporters of a terrorist organization?
RP: Like I say, it’s very troubling. And I’ve just seen the press report, so I’m going to have to look at what the response is, what the group is, and that kind of thing. But it is very concerning.
HH: Hamas – what is your opinion of Hamas?
RP: Well you know, I think that Hamas has shown itself not capable of sort of living in peace with Israel. They seem to foment a military reaction, and don’t seem to be able to live in peace with Israel. I do know that Israel did negotiate with them on one occasion for release of the solider, an Israeli soldier who’d been held there, and some say there are discussions between Hamas and Israel. I think that for there to be process for peace, there needs to be a more moderate type of Palestinian government in Gaza, I think, for the peace process to move forward.
HH: I believe Hamas is on our country’s list of terrorist organizations. Do you agree with that assessment?
HH: And so given that, I come back around to answering again, asking again, Senator Paul, I don’t know how Senator Hagel’s name can’t be withdrawn if he has received support from an organization, that’s a big if, but just assume that it is for a second, Shapiro a pretty good reporter, he’s got to pull his name. You can’t take money from a terrorist-supporting organization and come before the United States Senate and ask for a vote, can you?
RP: Yeah, I’m very troubled by it, and I think that’s what’s going to, we’re going to find out, is he’s going to have to respond to this. And you know, I think we’ll find out something in the next day or two.
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HH: Let me conclude by going one more time back to Secretary Hagel. Is it fair for me to conclude, tell the audience after you’re gone, that Chuck Hagel, in Rand Paul’s view, has to answer the question about whether or not he took money from Friends Of Hamas?
RP: Yes, that he has to, and I am going to wait and see what his answer is to that, and I’ve tried to keep an open mind on this. But I become more and more troubled with each day.
The nomination of Chuck Hagel, at this stage of the game, appears, it not Monty Python ex-parrot dead, at least Princess Bride mostly dead. There are clearly financial ties the former Nebraska Senator does not want to become public, because once disclosed, his nomination could no go forward. But Republicans are showing no signs of allowing the nomination to move forward until said financial disclosures, and any following questions that arise from them are answered.
And the collegiality principle that normally allows swift approval of appointees who are or were senators goes out the window in this case, because Hagel really wasn’t a likable guy on either side of the aisle.
Republicans so far haven’t let up on this, and they shouldn’t. We owe it to the republic to not passively approve someone so clearly demonstrating incompetence at best, and hostility at worst, towards the department he is nominated to run.