The officials also said Hagel does not plan to run for the White House in 2008, despite earlier flirting with a candidacy.
The 60-year-old senator arranged a news conference for Monday in
The decision by Hagel is the latest in a string of setbacks for minority Republicans in the Senate, who must defend 22 of the 34 seats on the ballot next fall.
Last week, Sen. John Warner of
Colorado Republican Sen. Wayne Allard is the third GOP retirement of the election cycle, and incumbents in
In addition, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens faces a federal corruption investigation, and Sen. Larry Craig is expected to resign his seat following his arrest in an airport men’s room sex sting. Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, but has hired a lawyer to try and withdraw his plea.
Hagel was elected more than a decade ago with a resume that included a tour in combat in
He has compiled a generally conservative voting record, yet emerged as one of the earliest and most biting Republican critics of the
In January, Hagel was the only member of his party on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to support a nonbinding measure critical of President Bush’s decision to dispatch an additional 30,000 troops to
“There is no strategy. This is a pingpong game with American lives,” Hagel said at the time.
Later, he virtually lectured fellow senators about their responsibilities.
“If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes,” he said.