Transcript for Obama's Defense Nominee Chuck Hagel Stirs Washington Lawmakers
We turn to the showdown in washington over president obama's nominee for secretary of defense. A senior administration source confirming it will be former republican senator chuck hagel. The... See More
We turn to the showdown in washington over president obama's nominee for secretary of defense. A senior administration source confirming it will be former republican senator chuck hagel. The announcement could come as early as tomorrow. One senator already calling this an in your face move. David kerley is at the white house tonight. Reporter: As the president returns from hawaii, senior fishlgs tell abc news he will nominate former republican senator has chuck hagel as the next secretary of defense. Chuck hagel is out of the mainstream of thinking, i believe, on most issues regarding foreign policy. Reporter: Today republicans raised red flags, continuing a campaign against chuck hagel. Chuck hagel is not a responsible option. Reporter: Democrats too have been cold to hagel, a social conservative. Republicans complain about his stand on affingts afghanistan -- that we went beyond our mission. And his opposition to the surge in iraq, saying it -- represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam if it's carried out. Reporter: But it was a comment about israel and what he called the jewish lobby which intimidates capitol hill that angered many. This is an in your face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of israel. Reporter: Picking a republican to lead the pentagon makes strategic sense for the president with budget cuts looming. Republicans don't really like chuck hagel. One of their own. Chuck hagel busts the republican party establishment and opposing the war in iraq. There's no surprise. Reporter: Hagel has the most important supporter. I've served with chuck hagel. I know him. He's a patriot. Reporter: The president will have a fight on his hands with this nomination and not just with republicans, with democrats as well who control the senate and the confirmation process. It's one of the reasons the white house was telling democrats up on the hill in the senate about this nomination, that it's coming down the road, trying to soften the blow.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.