Conservative groups are trying to bury Chuck Hagel’s nomination for defense secretary under a barrage of negative ads—in what appears to be the most expensive campaign ever launched against a Cabinet nominee.
By Tuesday, the Sunlight Foundation had calculated that at least $123,000 had been spent on anti-Hagel effort, including web sites, online videos, print ads and TV spots.
The biggest spender of all appears to the group, Americans for a Strong Defense, which the Sunlight Foundation says has placed at least $63,000 worth of ads targeting Democratic senators up for reelection in 2014. The group didn’t exist a month ago and appears to have been set up solely for the purpose of blocking Hagel’s confirmation. More than a half dozen groups have become involved in the effort to block Hagel’s confirmation, which goes before the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday.
Hagel’s positions on Iran, Israel, nuclear arms, defense spending and gay rights have all made it into the ads. On Tuesday’s Daily Rundown, Chuck Todd takes a Deep Dive to find out just who’s behind the effort to derail Hagel’s nomination.