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President Barack Obama has chosen former Republican senator Chuck Hagel as the nation's next defense chief. The president ...
said during a news conference on Monday that Hagel is the leader U.S. troops deserve. (Jan. 7)
Tags:ap,Associated Press,Barack Obama,Chuck Hagel/Former,john brennan,john kerry,Mr. President
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SHOTLIST:Pool - AP Clients OnlyWashington - January 71. SOUNDBITE: President Barack Obama: "Chuck Hagel is the leader that our troops deserve. He is an American patriot. He enlisted in the Army and volunteered for Vietnam. As a young private and then a sergeant, he served with honor alongside his own brother. When Chuck was hit by shrapnel, his brother saved him. When his brother was injured by a mine, Chuck risked his life to pull him to safety. To this day, Chuck bears the scars and the shrapnel from the battles he fought in our name. Chuck Hagel's leadership of our military would be historic. He'd be the first person of enlisted rank to serve as secretary of defense, one of the few secretaries who've been wounded in war, and the first Vietnam veteran to lead the department." 2. SOUNDBITE: President Barack Obama: "As I saw during our visits together to Afghanistan and Iraq, in Chuck Hagel our troops see a decorated combat veteran of character and strength. They see one of their own. Chuck's a champion of our troops and our veterans and our military families."3. Cutaway of audience4. SOUNDBITE: Chuck Hagel/Former Neb. Senator/Nominee for Defense Secretary: "I'm grateful for this opportunity to serve our country again, especially its men and women in uniform and their families. These are people who give so much to this nation every day with such dignity and selflessness. This is particularly important at a time as we complete our mission in Afghanistan and support the troops and military families who have sacrificed so much over more than a decade of war. I'm also grateful for an opportunity to help continue to strengthen our country and strengthen our country's alliances and advance global freedom, decency, and humanity as we help build a better world for all mankind. I will always do my best -- I will do my best for our country, for those I represent at the Pentagon, and for all our citizens. And, Mr. President, I will always give you my honest and most informed counsel. Thank you very much."5. Hagel and Obama shake handsSTORYLINE:President Barack Obama has nominated former Republican senator Chuck Hagel to be a key players in his second-term national security team.Hagel, even before being formally nominated as the next Secretary of Defense, has faced tough criticism from congressional lawmakers who say the former GOP senator is anti-Israel and soft on Iran. Hagel, John Brennan who's been tapped to lead the CIA and John Kerry, who is nominated to be secretary of state, would play major roles in shaping and implementing Obama's national security priorities for the next four years.