Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), newly elected in 2012, took a particularly hard line against former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel.
“I continue to believe you hold extreme views far to the left even of those of the administration,” Fischer said. She pointed — as many other Republicans did — to Hagel’s support for Global Zero, a movement to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Fischer asked if Hagel agreed with the report’s conclusion that the U.S. InterContinental Ballistic Missile force has lost its “central utility.”
“That report was not a recommendation, Hagel said of a report he co-authored last year for Global Zero. “It was a series of scenarios.” The point, he said, was ”to assess our needs, to assess our nuclear capability, to assess our nuclear deterrent.” He said again that he opposes any unilateral disarmament.
Hagel supported Fischer’s Democratic opponent, former senator and governor Bob Kerrey, in last year’s election.
If Fischer is an almost definite “no,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who spoke before her, is a definite yes. “I look forward to voting for you,” he said.