Asked by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) why he blocked Iran sanctions supported by Democratic senators in 2008, defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel said he did so along with other Republican senators because the Bush administration did not want the bill to go forward.

"The reason that they didn't" want it to advance, Hagel said, was "because they were involved in negotiations with the Russians and the U.N. and Security Council members to put multilateral sanctions on Iran."

But, Hagel said, it did not bother him that he went against then-Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry on that legislation.

"I didn't ever base my votes on what everybody else thought or did," he said.