Tags: powell | rice | state

Gingrich to Obama: 'Bring Back Colin Powell'

Friday, 14 Dec 2012 07:47 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says President Barack Obama should nominate Colin Powell as secretary of state as a "bipartisan" gesture toward mending fences with Republican senators who rejected U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for the post.
 
"I actually think it would not be a bad idea for President Obama to seriously consider seeing if Colin Powell would come back out of retirement because Colin did endorse him," Gingrich told Fox News' Sean Hannity Thursday night.
 
"That might be a bipartisan step that would move us in a direction of a different kind of dialogue," he said, suggesting that Powell's moderate views would serve the country better than any other possible nominees to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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The Georgia Republican and former presidential candidate also dismissed as an "absurdity" suggestions by some in the administration that Rice was rejected by GOP Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, as well as others, because she was black and a woman.
 
"The Republican Party did nominate Colin Powell, who became secretary of state. They did nominate Condoleezza Rice, who became secretary of state," Gingrich pointed out. "It would seem to me that on those grounds, [it would] be pretty hard to come back and say that the senators who had problems [with Susan Rice] were doing so for either racial or sexual reasons.
 
"They clearly have proven the willingness to work with African-Americans of both male and female," he added.
 
Gingrich said Republican objections to Rice as a possible nominee for secretary of state were based on one simple fact — that she did not tell the truth about terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya that took place on Sept. 11 of this year.
 
"Ambassador Rice misled the entire country in public, and she couldn't withstand the scrutiny of having lied to the American people," he added.

Gingrich said if Rice "has a grievance" with anybody over her clash with Republicans on Benghazi, it should be with the president.
 
"The fact is . . . she was sent out by the president to say things that were false. She was used for five shows in one Sunday to tell the American people something that was not true," he said.
 
"And I think if she has a complaint with anybody, it ought to be with President Obama, who sent her out there, using her politically, even though she was the U.N. ambassador."

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