President Obama warned Republicans on Wednesday to stop going after UN Ambassador Susan Rice for her September 16 comments about the Libya consulate attack.
Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pledged on Wednesday that, should Susan Rice be nominated as the next Secretary of State, they would do everything in their power to block it, reports The Huffington Post.
Both of the senators have objected to Rice’s role in talking about the White House’s version of events in the days after the September 11 attack.
Rice spoke to several television stations about the attack, saying that it was not believed to be related to terrorism, notes Bloomberg.
McCain, Graham, and a small amount of their colleagues have said that because administration officials later admitted the talking points were incorrect and that Rice should be disqualified from a cabinet position. McCain stated Wednesday:
“Susan Rice should have known better, and if she didn’t know better, she’s not qualified. I will do everything in my power to block her from being the United States secretary of state.”
President Obama responded to the comments about Ambassador Susan Rice by saying:
“If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after someone, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the United Nations ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intel she had received, and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous.”
Some administration officials have said that the president’s unusually blunt language was due in part to political calculation as well as trial balloon and loyalty.
The officials added that Ambassador Susan Rice has shown a willingness to carry out the president’s foreign policy and also stay on message at the UN. They added that, should she be named as the head of the State Department, it would partially be as a reward for that.