(CBS News) White House officials told CBS' Major Garrett that they're disappointed with defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel's performance at his confirmation hearing before the Senate on Thursday.
One of the most damaging exchanges during the hearing came from Hagel's onetime ally, Sen. John McCain, over Hagel's opposition to the Iraq troop surge.
CBS News' Chief Washington correspondent and host of "Face the Nation," Bob Schieffer, said the heated round of questioning was one of the most surprising details to emerge from the hearing.
"Let's not forget, Chuck Hagel was the co-chairman of John McCain's presidential campaign when John McCain ran the first time. This is stunning."
"He says it's policy. It's all policy," Schieffer said, speaking to McCain's harsh line of questioning.
Typically, when a nominee comes under fire during a hearing, Schieffer explained, "The White House will come back and stoutly defend the guy and ... [yesterday] they started leaking all these reports, they're disappointed."
The move by the Obama administration may signal that they are confident Hagel will "get confirmed by a narrow margin" and that they are "absolutely certain of every Democratic vote in the Senate," Schieffer said, before adding, "I've never seen a White House react quite the way they did to this."
Even if the White House remains confident Hagel will be confirmed, Hagel's rocky performance "You knew these were the questions they were going to get. And he did not seem able to really answer them. I think his nomination may be in trouble."