Mitchell Reports | January 07, 2013
>>> one of the newest members of congress and openly gay senator, tammy baldwin . senator, thank you very much for joining us. a couple of issues here. one is chuck hagel 's --
>> thank you.
>> -- anti-gay comment 14 years ago he said that he was aggressively gay and should not be -- i think that was the term, should not be representing the united states and since apologized for that. enough to satisfy the human rights campaign and chad griffin. what is your position on this nomination at this point?
>> well, i have to say unlike some of the folks you have been interviewing, i do not know chuck hagel . even though our service overlapped in the house and his in the senate, i plan to ask some tough questions to give a thorough review and to be fair but i do want to speak with him particularly about his comments 14 years ago to see if his apology is sincere and sufficient. i want to hear how he's evolved on this issue in the last 14 years because the significance to the post to which he's been nominated is the respect for now openly gay members of the military who, because of the repeal of don't ask don't tell, can serve openly and we need to see that implemented successfully, especially because the security of this nation is at stake in all of these regards.
>> you are one of 20 women now in the senate from both parties and that is a high watermark . not good enough at least if we want to be representative as the population is but it's 20. but what about this new foreign policy team? this president has now assembled a white male team of top foreign policy advisers. do you have any searches about how the cabinet is shaping up?
>> well, you know, that's actually a great point to raise in terms of the opportunity i'll have as these nominees come before the u.s. senate . and i get to ask the tough questions and give a thorough review, is how do they see their capacity to promote women in all of these positions? let's look at the military. we have seen great changes and great strides in terms of women's service in the u.s. military . but we also know that they face incredible challenges that their male counterparts don't necessarily face. with regard to chuck hagel 's nomination, i want to talk to him about that, also.
>> senator baldwin, as one of the first women and we'll be interviewing all of the 20 women in the senate, so far you have only been on the job a couple of days but so far what are your top priorities?
>> as we close out this very unusual show this hour.
>> well, i have to say that i want to carry on much of the work that i spoke about during my very tough campaign for u.s. senate . wisconsinites, we have seen our middle class shrink, i think getting wisconsin back to work, america back to work has to be our central focus. we cannot ignore the challenge of our national debt and deficit, though, and so as we confront that, what i want to make sure is we do so in a fair and balanced way so that we tackle it without shortchanging our people's future.
>> senator tammy bad win, the first of many interviews, i