Martha Raddatz Dares the Right to 'Look' Chuck Hagel 'in the Eye' and Say 'You're Not Tough'
ABC's Martha Raddatz on Monday continued touting Democratic talking points, sneering that conservatives who oppose Chuck Hagel's nomination to be Secretary of Defense will have to "look" the Vietnam veteran "in the eye" and tell him he's not "tough enough."
Raddatz appeared during live coverage of the President's official announcement. The reporter parroted, "And I think the thing you have to remember is that Chuck Hagel is a Vietnam veteran, so whoever is opposing him now would have to look him in the eye and say, you're not tough enough to be the Secretary of Defense even though you served in Vietnam." [MP3 audio here.]
The journalist saw this as a sign of a gutsy White House, saying that Obama is "going to nominate Chuck Hagel, no matter what Republicans are saying on the hill." Earlier on Good Morning America, Raddatz lobbied, "You might think that a Republican Vietnam veteran, former senator with all kinds of foreign policy experience would be the perfect choice to ease the rancor on Capitol Hill."
During Monday's live coverage, Diane Sawyer responded to her colleague, "[Hagel has] won two Purple Hearts, only emphasizing what you said." Of course, Republicans and conservatives would make the point that their complaint is on his judgment, not on his military service 44 years ago.
Additionally, how does his service negate conservative concerns about Hagel's position on Israel, which he derided as the "Jewish lobby"?
A transcript of the live coverage exchange can be found below:
DIANE SAWYER: Let's bring in now global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz in Washington. What are you going to be watching for with this announcement?
MARTHA RADDATZ: Well, I think obviously the White House is taking a strong stand on Chuck Hagel. They did not nominate Susan Rice, but they are going to nominate Chuck Hagel, no matter what Republicans are saying on the hill. And I think the thing you have to remember is that Chuck Hagel is a Vietnam veteran, so whoever is opposing him now would have to look him in the eye and say, "you're not tough enough to be the Secretary of Defense even though you served in Vietnam." Diane, there aren't that many generals left who served in Vietnam.
SAWYER: Well, he would be the first secretary of defense to have seen combat duty as an enlisted soldier. He won two Purple Hearts, only emphasizing what you said, Martha. And now here is the president with the team he plans to nominate.
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.