The Log Cabin Republicans, a group representing gays and lesbians in the party, took out an ad in The New York Times Thursday opposing the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as defense secretary.
Washington insiders have speculated Hagel is President Barack Obama’s choice for the position, which will soon be vacated by Leon Panetta.
The ad it reads, “Chuck Hagel: Wrong on Gay Rights, Wrong on Iran, Wrong on Israel.”
It includes comments Hagel made 14 years ago about James Hormel, who is gay and was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be ambassador to Luxembourg.
"They are representing America [as ambassador]. They are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay — openly, aggressively gay," the ad quotes Hagel as saying.
Hagel earlier this month issued a public apology for his remarks.
Hagel also has been taking heat for complaining about the “Jewish lobby” and having a passive stance toward Iran.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said he has "serious questions" about Hagel's views, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said a potential hearing “will really matter."
Republican strategist Karl Rove lit into Hagel in a Wall Street Journal column Thursday focusing on Obama. “Mr. Hagel is notoriously abrasive, viewed by many in Washington as an opportunist, and is not liked by many former colleagues,” he wrote. “Many of Mr. Hagel's views are out of the mainstream and even to the left of the president's.”
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