Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham dispute that “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” hurts the military and say that repeal of the policy that bans gay and bisexual service members from serving openly is being pushed by “an inexperienced president or candidate for presidency of the United States.”

McCain appeared on CNN's State of the Union, while Graham spoke on Fox News Sunday.

The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold hearings this week on a Pentagon report on repeal of the Clinton-era policy. A questionnaire included in the report found that a large majority (more than 70%) of service members do not object to ending the ban, but more than 40 percent of Marines do, according to details leaked to the media.

Previously, McCain has dismissed the report, saying that he wants a study that looks at whether the military should repeal the policy. A notion Defense Secretary Robert Gates rejected in a letter to McCain. “I do not believe that military policy decisions should on this or any other subject be subject to referendum of service members,” he wrote.

State of the Union's Candy Crowley noted the letter when she asked, “Doesn't he have a point?”

“Well, I think he certainly has a point,” McCain answered. “I would also certainly say that we should remember where this all started. There was no uprising in the military. There were no problems in the military with 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'”

“It wasn't a problem because you didn't have – it's called 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' OK? If you don't ask them, you don't ask somebody, and they don't tell.”

“I understand your point of view, and I understand the point of view by the majority of the media, but the fact is, this was a political promise made by an inexperienced president or candidate for presidency of the United States. The military is at its highest point in recruitment and retention and professionalism and capability, so to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false,” the Arizona senator added. (The video is embedded in the right panel of his page.)

Graham, also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed a similar sentiment.

“Well, there are service chiefs who object to repeal, particularly the Marine Corps. And the question that was asked of our military is how would you implement 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' once it's repealed. They didn't ask the question, 'Should it be repealed?'”

“This is a political promise made by Senator Obama when he was running for president,” the South Carolina Republican said. “There is no groundswell of opposition to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' coming from our military. This is all politics.”

Graham also predicted Republicans would unite to block repeal of the law.