Clinton told television interviewers during a visit to Peru that security at America's diplomatic missions overseas is her job and not the job of the White House, CNN reported Tuesday.
"The president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals," Clinton said.
The terrorist attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans drew criticism after congressional testimony revealed requests for additional security at the consulate had been turned down.
Republicans, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, also criticized the administration for initially saying the Sept. 11 attack was the result of mob violence caused by an anti-Muslim video, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Clinton said she was speaking out at this time "to avoid some kind of political gotcha."
"I know that we're very close to an election. I want to just take a step back here and say from my own experience, we are at our best as Americans when we pull together," she said.
She said her mission now was to make sure such an attack will never happen again, and to ensure that the work of American diplomats won't be stopped even in dangerous areas like Benghazi, Libya.