Obama called Hagel, who is a former senator and Vietnam veteran, "eminently" qualified for the job Thursday and expressed confidence he would ultimately be confirmed. He said Republicans now insist that every issue and nomination requires a super majority of 60 votes.
Senate Democrats on Thursday came up short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural step that would have permitted a vote on Hagel's confirmation.
Obama said blocking Hagel with a filibuster was "just about unprecedented."
The president made his remarks during a Google online forum to promote his initiatives.