Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) quickly fired back at President Obama after the commander in chief ripped into the senator and his colleague, John McCain (R-Ariz.), for threatening to block any potential nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for secretary of State.
On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said “absolutely, without a doubt” Rice’s part in the Benghazi falsehoods would factor into her fitness for the job.
“I’m not entertaining promoting anybody that I think was involved with the Benghazi debacle. We need to get to the bottom of it,” Graham said. “The president has a lot of leeway with me and others when it comes to making appointments, but I’m not going to promote somebody who I think has misled the country or is either incompetent. That’s my view of Susan Rice.”
“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 said at this afternoon’s press conference, noting he hasn’t made final decisions about his second-term cabinet.
“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,” the president said.
“Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi. I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack,” Graham said in a rapidly issued statement.
“We owe it to the American people and the victims of this attack to have full, fair hearings and accountability be assigned where appropriate,” Graham continued. “Given what I know now, I have no intention of promoting anyone who is up to their eyeballs in the Benghazi debacle.”
In a press conference earlier today, McCain smacked down a reporter who asked whether classified documents leaked in the Petraeus scandal are a greater threat to national security than the 9/11 Benghazi attack.
“Well I say with great respect, that’s one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard,” McCain said. “There’s 4 dead Americans. There’s 4 dead Americans. Not a socialite.”
“…I think that the other issue raised is very serious and I think it deserves a thorough and complete investigation. But it does not rise to the level of an attack on an American consulate that took four American lives.”