Military.Com Reports: Former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, considered close to former President George W. Bush, tried Monday to stem the tide of growing GOP opposition to the nomination of Chuck Hagel, the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska, as the next secretary of Defense.
Having served with Hagel in the Senate, Gregg said he disagreed with Hagel’s positions on Israel and Iran but respected Hagel’s policy credentials. “Sure he has strong opinions,” Gregg said on MSNBC, but “in the Defense Department, they need somebody who thinks outside the box.”
“They need a creative guy down there who doesn’t have ‘defense-think’” and is willing to go against the grain in a time of shrinking budgets, said Gregg, who led George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns in New Hampshire.
Gregg’s support for Hagel was the second signal from the Bush family that Republicans should take a second look at Hagel. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, the National Security Adviser to former President George H.W. Bush, has also been rounding up former generals and admirals to back Hagel.