Rice Drops From Running For Secretary Of State
By Ivetta Babadjanian
Dec 13, 2012 - 1:33:01 PM
WASHINGTON D.C.—U.N. Ambassador and Democrat Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration for Secretary of State on Thursday, December 13 after she was criticized for her comments on Benghazi. Rice was seen as one of the front-runners to replace Hillary Clinton as the nation's top foreign policy official.
Susan Rice. Photo courtesy of the U.N.'s website.
“I am fully confident that I could serve our country ably and
effectively in that role,” Rice wrote in a letter to President Obama. “However, if nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation
process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly ”“ to you and to our most
pressing national and international priorities. That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country,” Rice said.
President Barack Obama released a statement accepting her decision and praised her as "an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant."
"While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice
in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her
character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the
moment to put our national interests first," Obama added. "The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country."
Rice was criticized by Republicans for her response to the September 11 anniversary attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. She spoke on a number of talk shows after the attacks to defend how the administration handled the incident, which led to the deaths of four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. During her appearances, she described the attack as the result of a spontaneous protest which occurred because of an anti-Islam movie.
More details came forth that indicated it was a premeditated terrorist attack causing GOP critics to accuse Rice of misleading the public at the height of the presidential campaign. She responded to the negative comments by stating her comments were based off the information that was available at the time.
“I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the
intelligence community. I made clear that the information was
preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive
answers,” she said on Nov. 21 at the United Nations.
Obama expressed his support for Rice and warned Republican Senators John McCain, of Arizona, and Lindsay Graham, of South Carolina, to cease their commentary against her. “They should go after me,” he said at his first press conference after his re-election.
After Rice's announcement, Graham tweeted “I respect Ambassador Rice’s decision.” A spokesperson for McCain also released a statement that wrote, “Senator McCain thanks Ambassador Rice for her service to the country
and wishes her well. He will continue to seek all the facts surrounding
the attack on our consulate in Benghazi that killed four brave
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