Ayotte Blasts Obama After Hagel Resigns - NECN
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Ayotte Blasts Obama After Hagel Resigns

The Republican U.S. senator from New Hampshire is praising outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and criticizing the president.

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    Ayotte Blasts Obama After Hagel Resigns
    AP
    Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., gestures as she speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire is praising outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel while criticizing President Barack Obama.

    Ayotte, a Republican who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, opposed Hagel's confirmation in 2012 but said Monday he should be honored for his service to the country.

    She also said the "national security failings" of the Obama administration rest with the president, not Hagel.

    Her colleague on the committee, Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, said she has the utmost respect for Hagel, who resigned Monday.

    Ayotte says Obama must nominate someone who can earn support from both political parties and has a clear understanding of the threats the country faces.

    Shaheen says confronting the Islamic State group and protecting members of the military are critical issues for the next secretary.

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