Cheney: Hagel, Brennan gave "poor" performances in confirmation hearings


(CBS News) In an interview with CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose, former Vice President Dick Cheney said two of President Obama's top cabinet picks proved to be weak choices during their recent Senate confirmation hearings.

"With respect to Chuck Hagel and [John] Brennan... just in the last week, their performance in front of the committees that have to confirm them has been pretty poor," he said. "And that's, you know, not my judgment. That's the judgment, as well, of senators on both sides of the aisle."

White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, Mr. Obama's nominee to serve as CIA director, was grilled by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee during his confirmation hearing last week, particularly with respect to the U.S. drone program. He did, however, receive some praise from the likes of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chair of the committee.

Meanwhile, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, Mr. Obama's defense secretary nominee, faced tough questions from Republicans in the Senate Armed Services Committee last month over both his values and his record. The White House conceded Hagel's testimony was less than perfect. The Senate Armed Service Committee will vote on Hagel's nomination on Tuesday.

Cheney reiterated the charge he put forward in a speech Saturday night, in which he accused the president of having ulterior motives for nominating Hagel.

"My guess is, if you look at what the president's motives are for picking Chuck Hagel, I think he wants a Republican to go be the foil, if you will, for what he wants to do to the Defense Department, which is I think to do serious, serious damage to our military capabilities," he said.

Watch more of the interview Tuesday on CBS This Morning.