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Pentagon Won't Confirm Ashton Carter is Next Defense Secretary

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the lead Pentagon spokesman, said Tuesday he could not confirm the multiple reports that former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter would be President Obama's nomination to be the next defense secretary.

Kirby said he would not play the "parlor game" with the Pentagon press corps after CNN's Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, reported that Carter would be Obama's choice.

Carter is the latest name to float to the top of Obama's list after numerous potential nominees announced that they were not interested after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced his resignation.

Carter left the Pentagon soon after Hagel was named the defense secretary. Many analysts said Carter had his eyes on the top Pentagon position before Obama nominated Hagel.

Carter is best known for his work in trying to fix the defense acquisition system. His lead policy directive was the Better Buying Power program that was introduced in 2010.

However, if he's chosen, he will likely face a slew of questions over his role in some of the problems the Joint Strike Fighter program has faced. Carter defended the program in one of his last trips as the Pentagon No. 2.

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