In President Obama’s first Presidential News Conference since the election, he’d probably wished the main discussion was focused on dealing with the upcoming “fiscal cliff“, and setting further goals for his second term. Instead, he has had to deal with the scandal involving General Petraeus and defending U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice from attacks from the right in respect to Benghazi.
Since it became more and more apparent that the attacks in Benghazi, Libya weren’t a result of protests in response to an offensive video the right has been hammering U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, implying she was somehow purposely misleading or incompetent when speaking on national television on what had happen there. In actuality, she was only relaying the information that she, the President, and Congress was being provided.
It would seem more than anything that the threats being made against the President, that if Susan Rice were to be nominated by him to assume the role of Secretary of State that will be vacated by Hillary Clinton that Republicans in the senate would block the nomination, are purely based in petty political motives.
During the Presidential News Conference, President Obama was asked directly about the threats made by Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham to block a Susan Rice nomination. President Obama responded.
“She [Susan Rice] has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace. As I’ve said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”
“And I don’t think there’s any debate in this country that when you have four Americans killed, that’s a problem. And we’ve got to get to the bottom of it, and there needs to be accountability. We’ve got to bring those who carried it out to justice. They won’t get any debate from me on that. But when they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.”
– President Barack Obama
An emphatic statement from the President of the United States showing he will not stand idly by while a member of his staff is being attacked purely for political gain, and trust me, this is purely petty politics. The same standard Susan Rice is being held to, being pilloried for saying something inaccurate on national television, is not a standard Condoleezza Rice was held to when she made numerous inaccurate statements on Iraq and was then successfully nominated to be Secretary of State. Might I add John McCain and Lindsey Graham had not problem not holding Condoleezza Rice to that standard years ago.