On Sunday, McConnell said Hagel should be given a “fair” confirmation hearing but wouldn’t stand by his previous praise of the former senator. When Hagel retired from the Senate, McConnell celebrated Hagel as someone who had “earned the respect of his colleagues and risen to national prominence as a clear voice on foreign policy and national security.”
In that 2008 farewell address to Hagel, McConnell praised Hagel’s heroism in Vietnam, noting how Hagel saved his brother — with whom he also served — by dragging him out of an armored personnel carrier that exploded after hitting a landmine. He called him one of Nebraska’s “great statesmen.”
But on Sunday, McConnell was mum on his former colleague’s chances for a new job.