'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Jack Reed, Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Joe Manchin and Jon Huntsman

OBAMA: I came to admire his courage and his judgment, his willingness to speak his mind even if it wasn't popular, even if it defied the conventional wisdom. And that's exactly the spirit I want on my national security team.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Corker, you had some positive things to say about Senator Hagel last month when his name was first floated. You said you had good relations on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Do you see anything out there now that should disqualify him from the Pentagon post?

CORKER: Well, I think like a lot of people, the hearings are going to have a huge effect on me. I know I talked to Chuck this week. He's coming in to see me next week. But I think the hearings, this is going to be a real hearing process, unlike many of the people who end up being confirmed or not confirmed.

You know, I have a lot of questions about just this whole nuclear posture views. Those are things that haven't really been discussed yet. Obviously people have concerned about his stance towards Iran and Israel.

But I think another thing, George, that's going to come up is just his overall temperament, and is he suited to run a department or a big agency or a big entity like the Pentagon, and so look --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have questions about his temperament?

CORKER: -- forward to sitting down -- I -- what's that?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have questions about his temperament?

CORKER: I think -- I think there are numbers of staffers who are coming forth now just talking about the way he has dealt with them. I have certainly questions about a lot of things. I begin all of these confirmation processes with an open mind. I did have a good relationship with him. I had a good conversation with him this week. But I think this is one where people are going to be listening to what he has to say, me in particular about the things I just mentioned, but especially some of the positions he's taken generally speaking about our nuclear posture.

I think you know that I affirmed the new START Treaty. A lot of modernization was supposed to take place as a result of that on our nuclear arsenal. That's not happening at the pace that it should. The Pentagon is going to have a big effect on that, and for me, that is going to be a very big issue.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Reed, I had not heard those questions about Senator Hagel's temperament before. I wonder if you had heard anything like that, have any concerns like that? I did note this week that your Democratic colleague, Senator Chuck Schumer, said he's not yet convinced that Senator Hagel will be confirmed. Do you agree with that?

REED: Well, I believe (inaudible) confirmed, I think Bob is right. I think this confirmation process will be a thorough evaluation of Chuck's positions, and Chuck's very capable explaining those positions. I think he brings some unique quality to this job. He is someone who has been involved in issues of national security as a United States senator. He is someone who has been involved as a leader of the Atlantic Council. But I think one thing that's terribly compelling -- and it goes to his credibility with the forces -- he's been a combat soldier. He's fought. He has literally walked in their boots. That, I think, will inspire great confidence in the military officers and enlisted men that he deals with, and women.


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