msnbc | February 02, 2013
>> a .
>>> i already noted that i, that i should have used another term. the bigger point is what i was saying, i think -- what i meant to say, should have said. i said many, many things over years, that is what i should have said and thank you.
>> bob kerry is laughing at that, chuck hagel faced a brutal confirmation hearing, stumbled at times while being grilled. but dan phipher said he will be confirmed they have the votes. joining me is senator bob kerry . and retired army colonel jack jacob sentence. we think this could be the precurser to a permanent show. let's start with chuck hagel , you have known him for a long time, and probably know him better than most. how surprised were you by his performance before the senators?
>> well, they went after him. you know --
>> but he had to know it was coming.
>> i guess he had to know it was coming. still, you are there in the spotlight, you trying to not get angry. you trying to keep your cool. it's not an easy thing to do. and they went after him pretty hard. i -- i do think that he is going to get confirmed and the big challenge is whether or not, you know, we can see congress in the executive branch work together and figure out where our military structure will go. it's not easy with the budget being what it is. and there's arguments that it should be substantially smaller and i disagree with that.
>> john mccain is one of the senators that went after him at the hearings, accused hagel of being wrong tore the opposition of the surge. he pressed hagel . take a listen.
>> i would like a answer whether you are right or wrong and then you are free to elaborate. to give you a yes or a no answer on a lot of things.
>> then let the record show that you refuse to answer the question, now please go ahead.
>> if you would like me to explain why --
>> i actually would like an answer. yes or no? i think history has already made a judgment about the surge, sir. and you are on the wrong side of it.
>> colonel --
>> when hagel said i think i would like to explain, you know mccain does not want him to explain. he wants a yes or no answer.
>> why did he shy away from doing that?
>> i don't know. bob and i were talking about it before, he knew the questions were coming. he nie who was going to deliver them. he had time to rehearse.
>> i think of the right answer two days after the right answer should have been given. history actually does show that the surge worked. that my vote was wrong and your vote was right. but senator mccain in history shows that both of our votes were wrong to authorize the war to begin with. that's the problem.
>> you cannot say that at a senate confirmatin hearing.
>> i guess that is why i was not nomina nominated.
>> i guess, you could.
>> i think you can.
>> it did not seem --
>> you would get farther saying that than what he was saying. you know, even the president of the united states would advise him to say, look, just answer the question directly. you can explain later on. when the president wrote his book and said i don't know how much dope i smoked or whatever he was talking about, the problem went away instantly. confront it, and say yeah, i was wrong, and then say you want to say. that is all mccain wanted him to do, admit he was wrong. and he could not do it.
>> i want to turn briefly to another issue. we talked about this last week, defense secretary leon panetta has opened thousands of combat jobs to female service members. a poll that was conducted found that 17% of male marines would likely leave the corp if women served in combat roles. 17%, what is your take on the question of women serving in combat?
>> well, you really have to compare -- they should be asking the questions how many marines will leave period. back to the earlier conversation about the budget. the structure is getting smaller and it's gotten more difficult for us to get -- to retain the best and the brightest . yeah, it's a fairly substantial change. they will adjust. they will absolutely adjust. i mean there's all kinds of changes that have to occur to make it work. by the way, the biggest one is my daughter going to have to register? i had to register when i was 18 years old, that's the law, men have to do that. are women going to do that i am not sure that secretary panetta thought that through.
>> do you think that women should have to register?
>> you cannot say you have equal opportunity once you are in the military but not an equal responsibility to register. i would say yes. if -- if you are going to treat women equally, and i think that is right, and you can see, 75% of the gold medals won in the olympics were won by women . they are not lacking athletic ability. if the playing field is completely level, you who have to register like the guys have to.
>> you expressed concern during the last conversation about the broadcast, about the future of the u.s. military and the role that the u.s. military could very well have in terms of global affairs , shapie ining global affa affairs.
>> we have a lot of on people being defended by a small number of brave men and women and we have a multitude of threats in different places around the world and we are trying do it on a shoe string. and we cannot do it. one of the reasons that the budget will look like it is with far fewer people under arms is simple isly because -- is simply because it's -- one of the reasons is is, it's the easiest way to save money. if you want to cancel programs, you will not save money this year. you will save it in the out years. the best way to save money today is to fire people . back in the '70s when the people that were running the military establishment today had just been commissioned, when i had troops in the field yelling bang, bang and people not being able to fly helicopters and aircraft, no flying hours and no money for fuel or anything else. we are headed in that direction. this is a very dangerous time.
>> and it's an area where hagel and mccain agree, that did not come out in the hearings. it is likely to come out after senator hagel is confirmed.
>> do you think that those hearings in any way shape or form will make it difficult, more difficult for him to serve when he gets over to the on pentagon or is it going to be a situation where once with he is, there we will all forget about it?
>> i don't think it will be more or less difficult. given the budget situation and the changing nature. it's a very difficult job.
>> we are out of time. i know you were at the news school. the report came out, what will you do next?
>> i don't know.
>> he is doing this right now.
>> well, come back next weekend.
>> i will be on the street this afternoon.
>> job and jack, thank you both. always a pleasure. it's