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Ted Cruz Floats Joe Lieberman for Defense Secretary

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz has an idea for a new Defense secretary that the incoming Senate Armed Services chairman would love.  

The Texas Republican on Monday floated the name of former Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, the independent Democrat from Connecticut, to replace Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon.  

"We need a Secretary of Defense who is squarely focused on defending the national security interests of the United States, first and foremost, and especially preventing a bad deal over Iran's nuclear weapons program that could do irreparable harm to us and our allies," Cruz said in a statement.  

"One strong option would be former Senator Joe Lieberman, a member of the President's own party with deep experience and unshakable commitment to the security of the United States. I urge the President to give him full and fair consideration for this critical position," Cruz said.  

While Lieberman would likely breeze through the Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who considered Lieberman as a vice presidential running mate back in 2008, there's a reason he has not appeared on any of the short lists for succeeding Hagel. Lieberman's foreign policy views have frequently put him at odds with Obama and the Democratic Party.  

Hagel announced his resignation earlier Monday, but he will stay on until a successor is confirmed.  

Former senior Defense officials Michele Flournoy and Ashton Carter are said to be at the top of the list, with Sen. Jack Reed, R.I., expressing through a spokesman that he is not interested in the job.  

Related: Who Will Replace Hagel? Chuck Hagel Out as Defense Secretary Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.