A YouTube video released by Wicker's camp shows the senator asking Hagel about his stance on whether or not a military chaplain could opt of performing a gay marriage, based on canscience.
"Certainly," he said. "What we don't want is someone to be denied to be married in a chapel."
Hagel has drawn fire from Republicans for his perceived pro-Iran and anti-Israel stance. He has drawn fire from Democrats because of perceived anti-gay statements made in 1997. Hagel has said his individual statements do not show his whole make-up as a person.
Hagel is a decorated Vietnam vet.
Wicker told Hagel he had found some instances where his statements conflicted. He said Hagel's viewpoints showed up one way in the Omaha newspaper, and differed the next day in their conversations and in conversations with other Senators.
"The Office of Sec. of Defense is one of the most powerful positions in the country and arguably in the world," said Wicker. "This officials, whoever he or she is, must lead with clarity and precision and people around the world need to rely on the clear meaning of the words of the Sec. of Defense."
Wicker also questioned Hagel on his use of the term "Jewish lobby" and his statements that that lobby "succeeds in this town (Washington) because of intimidation".
The entire video
Wicker then went on MSNBC. These are comments from that interview:
“I don't think it's going very well for Senator Hagel. You know, there's a telling part at the beginning of the hearing where it was mentioned that Senator Kerry, the newly confirmed Secretary of State, came out of his committee on a unanimous basis and confirmed with only dissenting votes in the senate. I think it's very, very telling that although a number of us disagree with Senator Kerry on a number of issues, we have confidence in him to represent capably the United States view.
“And, frankly, a lot of us served with Senator Hagel. I think the fact it's going to be close, there's hardly any republican support for him from people who worked with him and in caucuses with him and on committees with him. I think it speaks volumes about the level of confidence that we don't have about this individual to head really the number one national security job in the United States.”