Sen. Corker Claims There are Questions Regarding Hagel’s ‘Temperament’

As Sarah Jones at Politicususa rightfully noted, this is pretty rich coming from today’s Republican party: The Party of Hotheads Cheney and McCain is Concerned About Hagel’s Temperament:

On ABC’s This Week, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) concern trolled about the ‘temperament’ of Republican former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NB), whom Obama has nominated as Secretary of Defense. To back up his concern, Corker referenced possible issues with staffers, “I think there are numbers of staffers who are coming forth now just talking about the way he has dealt with them.” […]

What staffers? Can he name one of them? Does Corker “think” they are coming forth or have they come forth? And since Hagel’s staffers would have most likely been Republican, it’s possible that such a desperate move might stink to high heaven of a Republican Party agenda, if in fact they ever do “come forth.” But really, since when do staffers weigh in on nominations?

Corker is worried about temperament, and he’s proving that by spreading unfounded rumors from alleged anonymous staffers that may or may not be a figament of his imagination. […]

The real issue Republicans have with Hagel is that not only has he been to war, unlike most in the chicken hawk party, but he is a two-time recipient of the Purple Heart and he is against a war-first strategy. Hagel warned us before invading Iraq that it is very easy to start a war, and not so easy to end one. Republicans were outraged at Hagel for suggesting such a fact.

I never thought I’d see the day when a modern day Republican suggested that temperament should be an issue. After all, this is the party of distemper. This is the party that allegedly can’t control its members from shouting insults during a State of the Union address. This is the party that lied us into war and ran Sarah Palin as a Vice President.

It’s ironic that the party of irascible hotheads Dick Cheney and John McCain is concerned about Hagel’s temperament, because if they had listened to him, we never would have invaded Iraq. Hagel’s temperament is actually an argument for his confirmation.

I’m wondering when Corker has ever expressed any concern for this guy’s temperament?

(Bob Schieffer asks McCain why he’s opposed to every one of President Obama’s cabinet picks on his gazillionth appearance on the Sunday talk shows.)

Transcript via below the fold.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Corker, you had some positive things to say about Senator Hagel last month when his name was first floated. You said you had good relations on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Do you see anything out there now that should disqualify him from the Pentagon post?

CORKER: Well, I think like a lot of people, the hearings are going to have a huge effect on me. I know I talked to Chuck this week. He’s coming in to see me next week. But I think the hearings, this is going to be a real hearing process, unlike many of the people who end up being confirmed or not confirmed.

You know, I have a lot of questions about just this whole nuclear posture views. Those are things that haven’t really been discussed yet. Obviously people have concerned about his stance towards Iran and Israel.

But I think another thing, George, that’s going to come up is just his overall temperament, and is he suited to run a department or a big agency or a big entity like the Pentagon, and so look —

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have questions about his temperament?

CORKER: — forward to sitting down — I — what’s that?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have questions about his temperament?

CORKER: I think — I think there are numbers of staffers who are coming forth now just talking about the way he has dealt with them. I have certainly questions about a lot of things. I begin all of these confirmation processes with an open mind. I did have a good relationship with him. I had a good conversation with him this week. But I think this is one where people are going to be listening to what he has to say, me in particular about the things I just mentioned, but especially some of the positions he’s taken generally speaking about our nuclear posture.

I think you know that I affirmed the new START Treaty. A lot of modernization was supposed to take place as a result of that on our nuclear arsenal. That’s not happening at the pace that it should. The Pentagon is going to have a big effect on that, and for me, that is going to be a very big issue.