Roberts Won’t Back Hagel for Defense Post

OSAGE CITY, Kan. (AP) Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts says he won’t support President Barack Obama’s nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense.

Roberts describes his fellow Republican as a longtime friend, but says they have too many differences on foreign policy and national security. Speaking Tuesday in Osage City, Roberts said he and Hagel have differing views on Israel and Iran, among others, that factor into his decision.

Calls to Kansas’ other U.S. senator, Republican Jerry Moran, seeking his views on the nomination were not returned Tuesday.

Hagel has drawn criticism for his remarks referring to pro-Israeli interests as “the Jewish lobby” and suggesting they hold too much sway in Washington. He has also called for direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.