White House Press Secretary Jay Carney praised Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel’s performance during the confirmation hearing and attacked Republicans for their questioning of the former Nebraska senator.

“I think Senator Hagel answered the questions appropriately and did a fine job,” Carney told reporters, lamenting that critical media coverage of the hearing has focused on “a series of questions that I think by any estimation largely represent badgering by the questioners.”

Carney predicted that Hagel would be confirmed. “I would be stunned if, in the end, Republican senators tried to block the nomination of a decorated war veteran who was once among their colleagues,” he said. “The senator, I think, conducted himself appropriately and well and the president looks forward to his confirmation as Secretary of Defense.”