UPDATE: At confirmation hearing, former Nebraska Sen. Hagel defe - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: At confirmation hearing, former Nebraska Sen. Hagel defends views

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Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel answers questions at the U.S. Senate committee hearing. Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel answers questions at the U.S. Senate committee hearing.

It was expected to be tough going Thursday on Capitol Hill for Chuck Hagel and it has been.

The former Nebraska senator is testifying at a hearing on his nomination for secretary of defense.

Thursday morning, Republican Senator John McCain tangled with Hagel over his past statements about the Iraq war.

Hagel is a moderate Republican and a Vietnam War Veteran.

He opposed a surge of U.S. troops in Iraq in 2007 that McCain strongly supported.

Sen. John McCain / (R) Arizona said, "I think history has already made a judgment about the surge sir and you are on the wrong side of it. And your refusal to answer whether you were right or wrong about it is going to have an impact on my judgment as to whether to vote for your confirmation or not. I hope you will reconsider the fact that you refuse to answer a fundamental question about an issue that took the lives of thousands of young Americans."

Chuck Hagel, former Nebraska Senator said, "Senator, there was more to it than just flooding the zone."

McCain said,  "I am asking about the surge Senator Hagel."

Hagel said, "I know you are and I am trying to explain my position."

Hagel says he cannot be defined by a single vote or quote.

He faces opposition from some other Republican senators as well.

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