Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate, wouldn’t commit on Monday to backing Chuck Hagel’s nomination to head the Pentagon, saying she wants to know if his apology for anti-gay remarks he made in 1998 is “sincere.” “I do want to speak with him, particularly about his comments 14 years ago, to see if his apology is sincere and sufficient,” Baldwin said on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.” “I want to hear how he’s evolved on this issue in the the last 14 years.” Some gay rights groups have been hostile to Hagel’s nomination. When serving as a GOP senator from Nebraska, Hagel opposed a Clinton-era ambassador nominee because the man was “openly and aggressively gay.” Hagel apologized for those comments last month, winning over some critics. Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the first openly gay member of Congress, reversed his earlier opposition to Hagel’s nomination on Monday.
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