Today during his White House press conference, President Obama scolded Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and other Republicans for attacking America’s U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice regarding intelligence on the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
McCain said today that he and his Republican allies would do anything they can to prevent Rice from becoming the next Secretary of State should President Obama nominate her. Citing comments Rice made soon after the attack that it was sparked in part by an anti-Islam video (a narrative that still has merit), McCain said today that she “should have known better, and if she didn’t know better, she’s not qualified” to be the nation’s top diplomat. “I will do everything in my power to block her from being the United States Secretary of State,” he said.
Today during his press conference, Obama shot back at McCain, calling his attacks on Rice “outrageous,” adding, “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”:
OBAMA: But let me say specifically about Susan Rice. She has done exemplarary 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 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. … 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. And should I choose, if I think that she would be the best person to serve America in the capacity of the State Department, then I will nominate her. That’s not a determination that I’ve made yet.
Watch the clip: