Hagel Criticizes Republican Party, Talks Independent Ticket

By Lindsay Hamilton

May 13, 2007 1:03pm

ABC News’ Lindsay Hamilton reports: Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, Neb., kicked the door to an independent presidential run wide open on Sunday.

"I think a credible third ticket, third party, would be good for the system," Hagel told CBS’s Bob Schieffer. "I think it shakes the system up. The system needs to be shaken up."

A constant critic of Bush’s policy in Iraq, Hagel took his criticism to the entire Republican party.

"I am not happy with the Republican party today. It has drifted from the party of Eisenhower, of Goldwater, of Reagan, the party that I joined. It isn’t the same party. It’s not. It’s been hijacked by a group of single-minded, almost isolationist insulationsts, power-projectors…" said Hagel.

Hagel recently dined with another Republican politician rumored to be considering an independent presidential bid, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. When asked whether he saw himself on a ticket with Bloomberg, Hagel replied with a grin, "It’s a great country to think about a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up leading this nation."

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