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Senor: Administration not supporting Rice

Dec. 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The White House has not supported U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who is under media scrutiny as a potential Cabinet appointee, a Republican campaign adviser said.

There has been speculation Rice is under consideration to succeed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In an appearance on ABC's "This Week," Dan Senor, senior foreign policy adviser to the Romney campaign, said Sunday Republicans -- both moderate and far right -- concluded Rice's Capitol Hill meetings last week about the U.S. consulate attacks in Benghazi, Libya did not go well.

"Benghazi was a serious issue. We can debate whether or not Susan Rice should be blamed for it. But she was front and center on a very serious issue," he said.

Steven Rattner, former treasury secretary counselor, defended Rice's account of the Benghazi attacks, saying she "was given a set of talking points" in which one word -- "consulate to mission" -- was changed.

"She went out there and she did it. And now she's being torn apart for it," Rattner said.

"... I am not going to speculate about someone, she hasn't been nominated for anything, and now she's under the media onslaught for her investments and companies in Iran and investments in Canada. So she gets all the downsides of being a nominee without any of the infrastructure and administration support for her," Senor said.

"I think the administration has handled this terribly. They have put her out there as though she's going to be a nominee, except they haven't nominated her," he said.

During the roundtable discussion, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., agreed he thinks Rice is "being treated horribly."

"I think she has done really good work. I mean, it was her who really went out there and helped get the consequences for the no-fly zone in Libya. That was hard work to do. She came through, she came through for the people attacking her right now, like Sen. [John} McCain (R-Ariz.). And I think it's really unfortunate circumstances," he said.

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