House GOP asks Obama not to nominate Rice

Nov. 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Nearly 100 U.S. House Republicans urged President Obama not to consider nominating U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice as secretary of state.

In a letter, the Republicans said Rice's credibility was gravely harmed by her account of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three diplomatic employees died, The Hill reported.

"Though Ambassador Rice has been our representative to the U.N., we believe her misleading statements over the days and weeks following the attack on our embassy in Libya that led to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world," the Republicans wrote in a letter sent to Obama Monday.

The letter says Rice "propagated a falsehood" that the attack was a spontaneous response to a U.S.-produced video that denigrated the Prophet Mohammed. More than a week later the Obama administration said terrorism may have played a role.

If Obama were to nominate Rice to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, the Senate would confirm the nomination, not the House. Some Senate Republican also leveled harsh criticism of Rice for her comments.

"Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter," the letter said. "Her actions plausibly give U.S. allies [and rivals] abroad reason to question U.S. commitment and credibility when needed."

"Thus, we believe that making her the face of U.S. foreign policy in your second term would greatly undermine your desire to improve U.S. relations with the world and continue to build trust with the American people," the letter said.

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