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Sen. Blunt to Vote Against Confirming Hagel as Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Blunt told MSNBC this morning that the embattled Secretary of Defense nominee simply doesn't understand some of the bigger issues he'll be facing during his time at the Pentagon.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It's a no for Senator Blunt on the Chuck Hagel nomination.

Blunt told MSNBC this morning that the embattled Secretary of Defense nominee simply doesn't understand some of the bigger issues he'll be facing during his time at the Pentagon.

"Things like Senator Hagel's comments on containment. I think he really does believe, based on his statement yesterday, even though he backed away from them later, that we could contain a nuclear Iran. I don't think we could contain a nuclear Iran."

Blunt says he will vote against Hagel in the Senate Armed Services Committee and again on the floor of the Senate.

"A majority in the Senate should be able to confirm. I wouldn't intend to be a part of that majority, but certainly my strong inclination would be that this is a vote that should be done by a majority rather than a 60-vote standard."

But Blunt says he doesn't see a Republican filibuster to try and stop the nomination. Hagel should be able to win confirmation on a party line vote in the U.S. Senate.

"A majority in the Senate should be able to confirm. I wouldn't intend to be a part of that majority, but certainly my strong inclination would be that this is a vote that should be done by a majority rather than a 60-vote standard."

Meanwhile, Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill isn't tipping her hand on how she'll vote on Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel's nomination.

"Well, one thing I'm not going to do is say how I'm going to vote until the confirmation hearings are over, until I've had a chance to look at his answers that he is going to make on the record."

McCaskill tells Andrea Mitchell on CNBC that she was saddened by the partisan tone of the questioning of Hagel by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The earliest the committee can vote on the Hagel nomination is next Thursday.

Video courtesy: CNN

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