Republican Sens. Susan Collins (ME) and Bob Corker (TN) said after their meetings with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice on Wednesday that they will wait to judge her potential nomination for Secretary of State and will give any nominee a “full hearing” without making any “premature” statements. The senators’ comments stand in contrast to those made by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who on Tuesday pledged to place a hold on Rice bid for Secretary of State should she be nominated.
Collins told reporters today that it would be “premature” to reach a “judgment now” on Rice. The Republican from Maine, who rebuffed Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) request to create a Watergate-style investigative committee on Benghazi, said she still needs “additional information” before she “could support her nomination” for Secretary of State. Corker said in a separate press conference that whomever is nominated as the nation’s top diplomat, he’ll “give that person a full hearing, as I always do.” Watch clips from the press conferences here:
This isn’t the first group of Republican Senators to separate themselves from McCain’s plan to block Rice, or any nominee, and instead promise to grant a full and fair hearing. Indeed, Sens. Marco Rubio (FL) and Rand Paul (KY) stated that they would not pre-judge any potential nominee for Secretary of State and would instead focus on a full hearing.
Sen. John Thune (R-ND) told CNN today that he’d keep an “open mind” if Susan Rice is nominated for Secretary of State.