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Dec 23, 2012 12:26 PM by Matt Stafford

Senators: Hagel would face tough confirmation

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two senators say former Sen. Chuck Hagel would face a difficult confirmation if nominated by President Barack Obama to be defense secretary.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who's retiring and wouldn't have a vote, cites Hagel's positions on Iran.

Lieberman tells CNN's "State of the Union" that Hagel had "some very outlying votes" against economic penalties on Iran over its nuclear program. Lieberman says sanctions are the only way to change Tehran's behavior "short of war."

Lieberman says it would be "a very tough confirmation process" and says "there are reasonable questions to ask and that Chuck Hagel will have to answer."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that it would be "a challenging nomination" and Hagel might not get many Republican votes.

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