Saturday, July 02, 2005

Questions for Chuck Hagel

A don't-miss piece from Sunday's New York Times Magazine is Deborah Solomon's "Fighting Words," a short interview with Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel. Read the whole thing, but here are some selections:

"Q: You're one of a growing number of Republicans who have lately accused President Bush of botching the war in Iraq.

Hagel: If someone says I am a disloyal Republican because I am not supporting my party, let them say it. War is bigger than politics. ...

Q:How would you compare the situation in Iraq with the one in Vietnam?

Hagel: Congress was absent during the Vietnam War, and they didn't ask the tough questions, and consequently we lost 58,000 Americans and lost a war and humiliated this nation. It took a generation to get over it. As long as I am here as a U.S. senator, I am going to do whatever I can to make sure that isn't going to happen. ...

Q: ... with our deficit now exceeding $400 billion, aren't we sort of out of money?

Hagel: In terms of the deficit, we have blown the top right off. We're a bunch of Democrats.

Q: I've never heard anyone call President Bush a Democrat.

Hagel: That's my point. We're less honest about it. We built the biggest government history has ever seen under a Republican government. The Democrats are better because they are honest about it. They don't pretend. I admire that. They'll say: 'We want more money. We need more money.'

Q: Where do you think the Republican Party needs to go?

Hagel: I'd take it back to the party of Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan. It was a pretty simple party in those days. It was all about limited government, fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and pro-trade foreign policy."

An interesting interview, clearly laying out Hagel's campaign strategy for 2008, should he decide to run: real Republicanism. It will drive the religious right crazy.


At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Phil S said...

On today's MTP, Hagel has now become this generations' Mike Mansfield-one who is seriously questioning where his party is going in the war!!

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Frank said...

I am a lifelong Democrat who would seriously consider pulling the lever for Hagel in 2008.


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