The U.S. Ambassador to the United States, Susan Rice, is one of the candidates up for the position of secretary of state, but not everyone thinks she is qualified for the job. A growing number of Republican GOP senators have voiced their opinion on why they would not back President Obama’s choice if he picks her to replace Hillary Clinton, including John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte. Here are the top 10 facts you need to know about why Susan Rice is not qualified for the job.
1. Most Criticized for Her Comments on the Benghazi Attack
Susan Rice is most criticized for her comments she made on television about the recent attack in Benghazi that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. She said that the attack on the American consulate was not premeditated. Her comments contradicted Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf, who said that the attack was planned. Rice has been receiving so much flack for her comments because of the overwhelming evidence that the attack was in fact planned and is seen as irresponsible on Rice’s part.
2. Senator McCain Will Block Susan Rice’s Nominiation
Senator John McCain expressed on Wednesday that he does not feel that Susan Rice is qualified for the position of secretary of state over her comments on the deadly attack and will do everything in his power to block her from getting the position.
“She’s not qualified,” McCain said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “Anyone who goes on national television and in defiance of the facts, five days later — We’re all responsible for what we say and what we do. I’m responsible to my voters. She’s responsible to the Senate of the United States. We have our responsibility for advice and consent… I will do everything in my power to block her from being the United States Secretary of State.”
3. She’s Not Qualified to Replace Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton currently holds the position of secretary of state under Obama’s first term. She is the first former First Lady to serve in a president’s cabinet and has proven herself for the position. She has put into place institutional changes and promoted the empowerment of women worldwide.
4. Susan Rice Either Does Not Understand or is Not Willing to Accept Evidence
McCain went on to say that Rice did not understand the situation or was not willing to accept evidence that the Benghazi attack was planned.
“She has proven that she either doesn’t understand or she is not willing to accept evidence on its face. There is no doubt five days later what this attack was. She went out and told the American people something that was patently false and defied common sense,” McCain said.
5. Senator Lindsey Graham Thinks Rice Knew Better
Senator Lindsey Graham was also critical of Susan Rice’s comments on the attack and said he will not support her nomination to be secretary of state either.
“I don’t trust her,” he said. “And the reason I don’t trust her is because I think she knew better, and if she didn’t know better, she shouldn’t be the voice of America. Somebody has got to start paying a price around this place.”
6. Senator Kelly Ayotte Agrees with McCain and Graham
“You don’t end up on every single major Sunday show without affirmatively putting yourself out there of wanting to carry forward a message on behalf of the administration. I think that there’s a certain responsibility with the current position that she has to ask proper questions about what we did and didn’t know at that point before she affirmatively puts herself out there on every major network to communicate to the American people,” Ayotte said.
7. Rice Needs to Explain Herself to Get the Vote
Many Republican GOP senators feel that Rice needs to explain herself better for the comments. She has said that the comments were based on the intelligence community assessment at the time, but it is contradicted by the acknowledgement of senior officials that there was real-time reporting of the attack and that it was clearly identified as a terrorist attack. Senator Lindsey stated that he would not vote for Rice “unless there’s a tremendous opening up the information explaining herself in a way she has not yet done.”
8. Obama Will Back Rice
During a news conference, President Obama strongly defended Rice against the Republican senators that said she is not qualified for the position of secretary of state. Obama said Rice has “done exemplary work” with “skill, professionalism and toughness and grace.”
9. Senator John F. Kerry Might Get the Job of Defense Secretary
Other than Susan Rice, Obama is also considering choosing Senator John Kerry as defense secretary to add to the team. McCain did not seem to keen on that idea either. “We’d have to look into it before I’d want to do it,” McCain said.
10. No Final Decisions Have Been Made
Obama said that no final decisions have been made regarding who will fill the position of secretary of state, but that he would not hesitate to Rice even in the face of Republican opposition. Rice has never before ran for elected office.