A: He should not be secretary of Treasury. In 2011, after the big victory for Republicans, Lew comes into these meetings and he's always the hostile guy. He's just doing what the president wants, really, which is nothing. Where I really disagreed with him, what I felt so strongly about, is that after producing a budget that had no entitlement reform, no reduction in debt, increased taxes and increased spending and no deficit reduction, (Lew) goes to the American people and says this budget he wrote as (Office of Management and Budget) director will have us live within our means. He said we'll just spend the money we have and it will put us in a position to pay down the debt. I called it at the time: the greatest financial misrepresentation in history. His own numbers that he submitted with his budget was a deficit of $600 billion, going up in the out years. It added $13 trillion to the debt of the United States. And he said it was going to have us live within our means and spend only the money we have? It was unbelievable. That was political. They produced a budget that did not reduce spending. They said, "Well, we'll be criticized if we do that, so we'll just say it does (reduce spending)." This is a post-modern world. People -- particularly this administration -- think they can say most anything and nobody will hold them to account. I'm going to hold them to account. He may get confirmed, but I thought that was wrong.
Q: Would you filibuster Lew?
A: We'll see what happens. Very frequently these nominees require 60 votes to be confirmed. He shouldn't be confirmed in my opinion.
Q: You've got that control. Will you filibuster and require 60 votes?
A: We'll see what happens. It's time for the American people to know what (the administration is) doing. It's not right. It can only be explained by the fact that he's a man on the left.
Q: What's your view on (former Republican Sen.) Chuck Hagel, Obama's nominee for secretary of Defense?
A: I don't know what to do about that. I've known Chuck. We came to the Senate together. He's really been troublingly at odds with the great American, bipartisan foreign policy that existed through the Cold War and past the Cold War, that it seems President Obama is drifting away from. Which is fundamentally that the United States does provide leadership, does provide confidence to the free world and trade. They don't want to do that. They lead from behind.
I'm ranking Republican on the Strategic Subcommittee of Armed Services, and Chuck's been part of a commission that's advocating zero nuclear weapons, which I think is so unrealistic as to be dangerous. They want to dramatically bring down our number of nuclear weapons. Bringing down our nuclear weapons, they say, is a way to set an example. All Iran and North Korea and other countries are going to see is, "Wow. The West is decadent. They don't have the will to defend themselves. In a few years, we can have as many nuclear weapons as they do." They're not going to stop having nuclear weapons because we don't have nuclear weapons. Russia's not giving up nuclear weapons.
We act like the only person in the world to deal with is Russia. What about China? What about other nations in the world that are capable of creating nuclear weapons? And what about Japan and South Korea? If they don't have confidence in the U.S. nuclear umbrella, will they want to have nuclear weapons? If Iran has nuclear weapons, won't Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt want nuclear weapons? This is a very dangerous time in history. I think this is a mistake. I'm going to be particularly studying (Hagel's) positions and statements on nuclear weapons, which at this point seem to be dangerous.
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