A freshman Republican who is trying to build opposition in the House to any potential nomination of Susan Rice for secretary of State said it doesn’t matter whether she meant to give misleading information or not.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) said he’s gathered about 100 signatures on his letter, which began circulating even before President Obama defended Rice in a press conference.
“Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter,” the letter states. “Her actions plausibly give U.S. allies (and rivals) abroad reason to question U.S. commitment and credibility when needed. Thus, we believe that making her the face of U.S. foreign policy in your second term would greatly undermine your desire to improve U.S. relations with the world and continue to build trust with the American people.”
This morning on Fox, Duncan maintained that Rice, who came out to defend herself before the holiday, is “tainted.”
“She rolled out on five Sunday talk shows with the message of the administration, that this was a response to a violent — a violent response to a video. And nothing was further from the truth. We knew it was an act of terror,” the congressman said.
“You know the real question here is, why was Susan Rice put on the Sunday talk shows with a message that mislead the American people about the real reason behind the attacks in Benghazi? Especially when it was just weeks before a very important presidential election,” he added.
While the House doesn’t vote on nominations, Duncan’s letter puts the lower chamber on record opposing Rice and also demands administration responses to “continued unanswered questions.”
“It comes down to her credibility now. Do we want someone as secretary of State that is somehow tainted in this whole Benghazi issue? I don’t think so,” Duncan said.
“I think the bigger question to ask is, you know, she should have known the information. She should have had all the talking points — the truth of the matter. And the fact that she misled the American people, whether it was intentional, or unintentional, she is tainted in this issue.”