As former Sen. Chuck Hagel's confirmation as Defense Secretary remains in limbo, one of the main conservative groups funding advertising campaigns against him is preparing another salvo.
Starting Sunday, Whispers has learned the American Future Fund will launch a new national ad called "Novice," which quotes from Hagel's flustered performance at his confirmation hearing in late January. The ad quotes the former Nebraska senator stumbling over several questions, including over a past comment in which he reportedly said Israel was keeping "Palestinians caged up like animals."
"Well I said it," he replied during the contentious hearing, "but I don't remember the context, or when I said it."
"No on Chuck Hagel," the ad's voiceover intones.
Because it is a 501(c)4 nonprofit, the American Future Fund does not have to disclose its donors. But according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the group is well-funded, having spent $25 million during the election last year, about $20 million of which was spent opposing President Barack Obama's re-election.
The fund also launched a series of print ads opposing Hagel immediately after he was nominated, and ran TV ads nationally on FOX News and CNN before the confirmation hearing.