Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is praising President Barack Obama's pick of former Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is praising President Barack Obama's pick of former Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary.
Franken calls decorated combat veteran Hagel ``a war hero.''
And Franken is promising to listen to his testimony.
Some Democrats have criticized Hagel for saying in 1998 that a nominee for an ambassador post was ``openly, aggressively gay.''
Franken, a Democrat, says Hagel has apologized for those comments, and he doesn't think that's a reason to deny him the post.
Franken also says he's interested in hearing Hagel's comments on Iran's nuclear program.
Minnesota's other senator, Democrat Amy Klobuchar, says Hagel, who fought in Vietnam, ``has a long record of service to his country,'' and she looks forward to considering his confirmation.
(Photo Credit: KFGO File Photo)