News / USA

Obama, Senate Republicans Spar Over UN Ambassador

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks (2012 file photo)U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks (2012 file photo)
x
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks (2012 file photo)
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks (2012 file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Michael Bowman
— A rift has emerged between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers in Congress over America’s United Nations ambassador, Susan Rice.

On Wednesday, Obama defended Rice from Republican allegations that she misled the nation about the deadly September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The ambassador is said to be a possible candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

At a news conference Wednesday, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham called for a special committee to investigate the Benghazi attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. They also had strong words about any possible nomination of Susan Rice to a new post in the Obama administration.

“We will do whatever is necessary to block the nomination that is within our power, as far as Susan Rice is concerned,” McCain said.

McCain and other lawmakers sharply criticized Rice for statements she made on several U.S. television programs after the Benghazi attack. This is what she said on September 16 on ABC television's "This Week" program:

“Our current best assessment, based on the information we have at present, is that, in fact, this began as a spontaneous, not a premeditated, response to what had transpired in Cairo,” Rice said.

Rice noted that demonstrations had erupted in Egypt and elsewhere because of an Internet video that insulted Islam, and said that the violence in Benghazi also flowed from the video.

President Obama later said that the attack was a planned terrorist act.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham had this to say about Susan Rice: “I do not trust her. And the reason I do not trust her is because I think she knew better. And if she did not know better, she should not be the voice of America. I do not think she deserves to be promoted,” Graham said.

At a news conference later Wednesday, President Obama defended Rice, calling the senators’ criticism “outrageous.”

“She [i.e., Rice] 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 am happy to have that discussion with them,” Obama said.

Obama said he has made no decisions about Cabinet posts for his second term, but that he would have no reservations about nominating Susan Rice.

“She 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,” Obama said.

Obama’s words provoked a terse response from Senator Graham.  In a statement, he said, “Mr. President, do not 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.”

The Benghazi attack occurred eight weeks before the U.S. general elections, and it was addressed during two debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Some analysts have questioned whether the Obama administration initially downplayed the true nature of the Benghazi attack to shield the president from political fallout. Obama denies the allegations.

On Wednesday, the president promised consequences for the attack.

“I don’t think there is any debate in this country that when you have four Americans killed, that is a problem.  And we have got to get to the bottom of it and there needs to be accountability.  We have got to bring those who carried it out to justice,” Obama said.

Several committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate are investigating the Benghazi attack.  A special select committee would have access to the witnesses, materials and findings of all of the other committees, yielding, according to Republicans, a more thorough and comprehensive report. 

Special committees have been authorized in the past to probe incidents such as the Watergate scandal that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation and the Iran-Contra affair that shook the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Daniel Phelan from: CA
November 14, 2012 8:21 PM
Really Republicans? This is all you can come up with? The exploitation of the deaths of honorable men; men of country? Are you people plain evil? Have you no shame?

This was a terrible violent act by terrorist. They are to blame.

What are you saying Republicans? That we should invade Iraq? 4000 dead American soldiers among countless others!!?? Oppps! Wrong enemy!!

Are you saying that Republicans and GW Bush are responsible for letting 9/11 happen? What about the 12 attacks on US embassies that happened under GW? Opps!

Republicans of today are just hacks with no hearts and puny minds.

I’m afraid this is just another example of the fossilized right-wing status quo: Create a grotesquely distorted caricature, broadcast the delusion at the top of your lungs, and hope that you manage to reinforce just enough cynicism and hopelessness to ensure the election of someone who truly cares only for funneling all of the country's wealth and power into the hands of a tiny, corrupt elite.

Republicans are garbage leaders.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid