Conservatives Blocked Rice for Top Job

Thursday, 13 Dec 2012 11:54 PM

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Republicans John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, among others, led the critics of U.N. Envoy Susan Rice eventually leading her to withdraw, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Their opposition"would have put Mr. Obama on track for a protracted battle at the same time he is in tense negotiations over a deficit-cutting deal to avoid year-end tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff," The Journal reports.

"To add this to the equation probably would have been more than any of us could bear," Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.).

Corker said he doubted Rice could be confirmed in that environment. He is set to become the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Republican senators "felt she was more of a political operative than a principal," Corker.

Rice was criticized for providing information about the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi indicating it was a spurt-of-the-moment protest in response to an anti-Muslim film.

That was not the case.

Ayotte said she was still concerned about the Benghazi attack and the little information provided

 "With four of our public servants murdered, it is critical that we get to the bottom of what happened," she said.

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