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Chuck Hagel apologizes for gay slur

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, seeking to preserve his viability for nomination as secretary of Defense, on Friday issued a strong apology for a gay slur in 1998 that turned some top Democratic activists against his potential selection.

Hagel’s statement is part of an extremely unusual campaign to bolster a candidate for a top job who has not yet been nominated. The White House this week took the extraordinary step of publicly defending Hagel against attacks by backers of Israel.

Hagel, a Republican being considered by President Barack Obama to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in 1998 disparaged James C. Hormel as “openly aggressively gay” after President Bill Clinton named him ambassador to Luxembourg.

With gay groups marshaling opposition, Hagel said in a statement provided by an aide: “My comments 14 years ago in 1998 were insensitive. They do not reflect my views or the totality of my public record, and I apologize to Ambassador Hormel and any LGBT Americans who may question my commitment to their civil rights. I am fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to LGBT military families.”

The Omaha World-Herald reported in 1998: “Ambassadorial posts are sensitive, Hagel explained. ‘They are representing America,’ he said [in an interview]. ‘They are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay — openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel — to do an effective job.’”

The two other known possibilities for the Pentagon post, which Obama is likely to fill shortly after Christmas, are Michèle Flournoy, who was undersecretary of Defense for Policy during Obama’s first two years, and Ashton Carter, the current deputy secretary of Defense.

by Anonymousreply 3412/30/2012

people knew better in 1998. apology not accepted add me to the broken hearts you've collected.

by Anonymousreply 112/21/2012

Oh my goodness! He described someone 14 years ago as "openly aggressively gay"! We should hang him by the rafters!!! We should also totally forgive President Clinton for signing the Defensive of Marriage Act declaring that gays are the modern equivalent of blacks and thus not "equal" to enjoy marriage rights, but fuck it - let's tar and feather the Republican first!!!

by Anonymousreply 212/21/2012

So he hasn't been sorry for 14 long years and NOW when it might hurt his political career, he decides he is sorry. Reallllllly?

Not impressed.

by Anonymousreply 312/21/2012

Accept his apology. What are you going to do, hate him forever? Plus, Hagel is tough on Israel. He's not all bad.

by Anonymousreply 412/21/2012

Enjoy the back of the bus R4. It is exactly where you belong.

by Anonymousreply 512/21/2012

up yours, r4. Find someone who is tough on Israel who doesn't make a meal of someones sexual orientation. In other words, try harder. Politics should be the realm of extreme consequences. They work for us.

by Anonymousreply 612/21/2012

Gays are always so eager to take whatever crumbs str8 bigots throw to them.

by Anonymousreply 712/21/2012

He didn't even apologize to the man that he said this about. It's a defensive act. And totally hollow.

Fuck 'em.

by Anonymousreply 812/21/2012

Hormel and his family are assholes; they are union-busting thugs that paid their employees peanuts.

by Anonymousreply 912/21/2012

Sorry, my last post should read,"they are union-busting thugs who paid their employess peanuts."

Oh look: the strike was chronicled in the film American Dream, which won the Academy Award for best documentary in 1990. A song about the strike, entitled "P-9" was written by Dave Pirner of the Minneapolis band Soul Asylum. The song can be found on their 1989 album, Clam Dip & Other Delights.

Hormel is also against food labelling of GMO foods and there plants have been accused of animal abuse (where there is worker abuse there is often animal abuse)

by Anonymousreply 1012/21/2012

Yeah, he sure is sorry now that his assholism is in the way of his next career rung!

by Anonymousreply 1112/21/2012

[quote]people knew better in 1998.

Clinton didn't...or did you forget?

by Anonymousreply 1212/21/2012

I demand ideological purity from cradle to grave.

No mistakes! No apologies!

by Anonymousreply 1312/21/2012

R12, Clinton did an enormous amount for gay rights - he campaigned on gays serving openly in the military long before it was popular to do so or before Barack Obama came along.

He faced a climate that was hostile and that would not allow him to do so.

by Anonymousreply 1412/21/2012

R14, reread R1

He claimed "people knew better in 1998." Meaning ley's tar and feather Hagel for his stance and pretend Clinton wasn't also a problem BACK THEN.

We're not talking about 2012, now are we? We're talking about 14 years ago.

Now if you're going to make excuses for Clinton long after he is gone from office and his wife -when running only a few years ago- still defended DADT, why exactly is Hagel getting shit for what he did 14 years ago as though he would attempt to reinstate DADT today?

Robert Byrd was once a member of the KKK, but he has been forgiven.

by Anonymousreply 1512/21/2012

I'm willing to accept Hagel if he has become more progressive. He has a lot more guts than most other Republicans who refuse to change or acknowledge anything they did was wrong.

by Anonymousreply 1612/21/2012

It has always puzzled me why people refuse to take the victory of the civil rights movements, be victorious, and go on with their lives. What is the purpose of living in perpetual eternal victimhood? Hagel acknowledges that his position from 14 years ago was on the losing side of history, and he has apologized for it, and I celbrate that fact. WE WON!

by Anonymousreply 1712/21/2012

Apology plus not being a punk for Israel = forgiveness.

by Anonymousreply 1812/21/2012

Fuck him and the pig he rode in on.

by Anonymousreply 1912/21/2012

The fact that the military-industrial complex doesn't seem to like Hagel either is a plus in my books.

by Anonymousreply 2012/21/2012

Hormel did not accept his apology.

by Anonymousreply 2112/21/2012

Hagel IS the military-industrial complex, stupid.

by Anonymousreply 2212/21/2012

R22, defense contractors are opposing his nomination because he wants to make cuts.

by Anonymousreply 2312/21/2012


by Anonymousreply 2412/21/2012

Hormel is not a jackass. He has been a mainstay of the gay community for decades (unlike David Geffen, say) and has never been a conservative.

by Anonymousreply 2512/21/2012

Hagel is a classic case of a military man given an enriching corporate job. He also is ground zero for the Republicanization of election counting. I don't get why you are all so keen on him. You really think he saw the light? He may have endorsed Kerrey with this job in view, but Kerrey didn't WIN.

by Anonymousreply 2612/21/2012

So what, R26? A candidate has to win in order for the endorsement to be legitimate?

Hagel works for Obama already, and his wife endorsed Obama. He's gone about as far as he can for a Republican.

by Anonymousreply 2712/21/2012

[quote]He also is ground zero for the Republicanization of election counting.


by Anonymousreply 2812/22/2012

David Gergen said today that Chuck Hagel is being treated unfairly.

by Anonymousreply 2912/22/2012

Yes, I'm sure the reason John McCain, Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn are opposed to Hagel is because of their own pro-gay/anti-military complex/anti-corporatist stances. Some of you are such idiots.

They're all coming up with bullshit excuses not to support him, like his stance on the Iraq war. He voted for the fucking war, and was then the first to be brave enough to admit it was wrong. Yes, what an horrific thing to admit the war was a mistake.

If you're stupid enough to make this about something he said about gays 14 years ago, then why do you quickly forgive others who have said/done similar things?

This hatchet job has AIPAC written all over it. If you think stating it is "conspiratorial" in nature, then you should be downgraded from idiot to moron.

Everyone knows that Hagel having the audacity to put the interests of this country ahead of Israel's is precisely why he's being besmirched.

by Anonymousreply 3012/24/2012

R28, Hagel was "elected" to the U.S. Senate in a mysterious upset over a popular governor in an election counted by Hagel's own company, Election Systems and Software, which he quit being CEO of to run for the Senate and which is campaign treasurer maintained a $5 million investment in for him. His opponent challenged and it was a national scandal when he was allowed to take his seat in the U.S. Senate. In 2002 he was "re-elected" by the second highest vote margin ever in any contested election ever, despite no particular reason for popularity. After he retired from the Senate, he went back to consulting for ES&S.

by Anonymousreply 3112/24/2012

[quote]His opponent challenged and it was a national scandal when he was allowed to take his seat in the U.S. Senate


by Anonymousreply 3212/24/2012

[quote]If you're stupid enough to make this about something he said about gays 14 years ago, then why do you quickly forgive others who have said/done similar things?

I do not forgive others and I'm not forgiving him just because he has made a self-serving much-too-late "apology". If that treatment is good enough for you, then enjoy the back of the bus R30. You deserve to be there.

by Anonymousreply 3312/24/2012

Interesting article.

by Anonymousreply 3412/30/2012
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