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Biden praises Hagel’s ‘moral courage,’ ‘integrity’

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Vice President Joe Biden was full of praise for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel today, speaking at the Pentagon where he administered Hagel’s ceremonial swearing-in for his new post.

Biden noted that the crowd of diplomats and military officials included both Democrats and Republicans, despite Hagel’s contentious confirmation process.

“That’s a testmanet to the fact, for all you media listening, that all of us who know Chuck Hagel know the president made a really, really fine decision,” he said.

The vice president praised Hagel for his “moral courage,” saying the secretary stood out among the members of Congress both men worked with during their time in the Senate.

“I’ve never met one with more integrity than Chuck Hagel,” Biden said.

Biden defended President Obama’s hotly contested choice, saying in addition to his integrity and leadership, Hagel is “steeped in knowledge of foreign policy.”

“Chuck comes to this job equipped in a way that I think makes him really qualified in this moment in our history,” Biden concluded.

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