(FOX NEWS) WASHINGTON –  Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, urged senators Thursday not to write him off based on a handful of controversial votes and quotes from his career in the Senate — though he ran into early and tough criticism from a top senator who accused him of “appeasing” America’s enemies.

The former Republican Nebraska senator was addressing the criticism of his former colleagues at the start of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He is among the most controversial of Obama’s second-term Cabinet nominees, due to positions he has taken on Iran and comments he has made about Israel and other topics.

“Like each of you, I have a record,” Hagel said Thursday. “A record that I’m proud of. I’m proud of my record not because of any accomplishments I may have achieved, or certainly because of an absence of mistakes, but rather because I’ve tried to build that record based on living my life and fulfilling my responsibilities as honestly as I knew how and with hard work.”


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