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Inhofe Questions Hagel's Credentials (Jan 31, 2013)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe says he remains opposed to President Barack Obama's nomination of former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

In an opening statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, Inhofe described Hagel as a ``good man,'' but added that his record is ``deeply troubling and out of the mainstream.''

Inhofe is the top ranking Republican on the committee, which is holding a confirmation hearing for Hagel on Thursday.

Inhofe complained that Hagel's record demonstrates he will be a staunch advocate for the continuation of Obama's ``misguided policies.''

On the issue of the defense budget, Inhofe says he disagrees with Hagel's position that the Defense Department is bloated and that the Pentagon needs to be pared down.

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